Why Is It Important To Have Clean Air Filters?
Air filters are affordable and easy to replace, but they are also easy to forget about. However, it’s important to be diligent in replacing your filters to ensure that your HVAC system can operate with excellence.
Here’s a quick video overview about the importance of installing clean air filters.
This article will explore the negative consequences that can emerge if you aren’t diligent in replacing your air filters on time.
- Damage to your HVAC system
- Increased electric bill
- Dust accumulates faster
Then, we’ll provide quick tips to help you select and replace your filter.
- Types of filters
- How and when to replace your filter
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Damage to your HVAC system
Homeowners neglecting to replace dirty air filters is one of the most common reasons that HVAC systems suffer damage. When your filter is clogged, airflow to your unit’s air handler is restricted. Over time, a strained air handler can suffer a motor burnout, resulting in your unit overheating.
Also, if your filter is dirty, your ducts will become dirty as well. You may then need to hire a professional to come out and clean them.
Without a clean filter in place, nothing stops dirt from building up on your HVAC system’s coils. The caked buildup can lead to system failure down the road.
Increased electric bill
Want lower electric bills? The Department of Energy has found that dirty air filters can result in a 15% increase in your home’s energy usage. So, a simple way to lower your electric bill is to replace your air filters regularly.
Your filter’s job is to prevent dirt and dust from entering your HVAC unit. The air filters will inevitably become dirty at some point. So, if you don’t replace yours, your unit will have to work harder to pass air through the buildup, ultimately increasing your electric bill.
If you check your air filter a month after installing it and it's still clean, this may be a cause for concern because your filter isn’t collecting dust properly. Reach out to a professional to assess this issue to prevent long-term damage.
Dust accumulates faster
Your air filter can play an influential role in preventing dust buildup, but only if it’s clean. Once the filter gets dirty, airflow becomes limited, and dust will begin accumulating faster than normal in your home.
See more dust in your home? That’s a clue that it’s time to replace your filter.
Types of filters and replacement frequency
Your filter will have a MERV rating between 1-20, which measures how well an air filter traps dust and other contaminants. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filtering. However, a high MERV rating also corresponds with more frequent replacement since the filter is collecting even more dust and dirt.
Additionally, different types of filters need replacement at varying frequencies:
- Fiberglass: These 1-inch thick filters have spun-together fiberglass. They are very affordable but need replacement every month.
- Pleated: These filters consist of polyester or pleated paper. They are between 1-6 inches thick and need replacement every 3-6 months.
- Electrostatic: You can wash or vacuum these, so they don’t need frequent replacement, making them a great eco-friendly option. Plan to clean these filters monthly.
- HEPA: These are the most durable filters you can invest in and only need replacement once every 12-18 months.
How and when to replace your filter
First and foremost, you need to remember to do this task. Schedule alerts on your calendar reminding you to replace your filter. You can also check with your contractor if you can schedule new filters to be mailed to you on a regular basis, ensuring that you always have a filter on hand when it’s time to replace it.
Follow the below steps to replace your filter:
Step 1: Locate your grate.
Step 2: Open your grate and inspect your filter. You may need a screwdriver for this.
Step 3: If your filter is dirty like the one pictured here, allow your AC to cycle off. Measure your filter and then replace it with a clean one.
Step 4: Close your grate.
If you need more help, Four Season Heating & Air is here for you.
If you’ve replaced your air filter, but your HVAC unit still seems to have operation issues, it’s time to call the pros. We guarantee no run-around, total transparency, and the lowest prices in Northwest Oregon.