You don’t want to simply enjoy your HVAC system, you should also make sure that you take good care of your HVAC system in order to get as much use out of it as possible. A big part of extending the life of your unit and maintaining a high degree of comfort in your home is changing out your air filters. Not only that, but changing out the air filters can also help lower your energy bills.
You might not realize just how compromised the air inside of your home can be. Your indoor air quality is oftentimes worse than the air quality outside of your home, which is one reason it’s so important to make sure you have a clean air filter in order to improve air you breathe inside.
Indoor air pollutants can come from pet dander, mold, dust mites, gas-fired appliances and combustion devices. Compromised indoor air may lead to a number of health conditions, such as chest tightness, sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath, asthma attacks and watery or itchy eyes.
It’s also wise to have a HEPA air purifier to help cleanse the air, as well. While changing your air filter helps improve your air quality, there is no better method than using this type of air purifier.
Clean Filters and Clean Air
Not only do air filters keep your indoor air supply clean, they also help protect the interior components of your HVAC system. The transfer of energy inside of your unit can be hampered by a buildup of debris and dirt, which can cause your unit to work harder than it has to. The unnecessary stress can increase the risk of your HVAC unit malfunctioning and can also cause premature wear and tear.
In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, switching a dirty air filter with a clean one can reduce your HVAC unit’s energy consumption by as much as 15 percent.
How to Choose the Right Air Filter
Now that you understand why it is important to change your air filter, it’s a good idea to learn more about selecting the right air filter for your HVAC system. Filters are rated by the size and number of particles that they are able to trap. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) scale is used to rate air filters. The larger the MERV number, the better the filter is at filtering out airborne particles. One thing to take note of is that high efficiency filters are composed of thicker materials, which means that they can potentially hamper the flow of air in your home. It’s a good idea to turn to a professional HVAC company to help you figure out which air filter will work best for your home.
If your main intention is to improve your indoor air quality, then you’ll want to consider using a HEPA filter the next time you need to switch out your air filter.
When You Should Change Your Air Filter
How often you should change your air filter will depend on how often you use your HVAC system. If you use your systems often, then you’ll want to change out your air filter more often, possibly as much as every month. Towards the end of the cooling and heating season you’ll more than likely be able to use your filters for longer. Even though a majority of filters are good for up to three months, it’s still a good idea to visually inspect your filter every month just to make sure that it looks good.
If all else fails, follow the popular method of changing your air filter the same day you pay your monthly electricity bill. Even though your filter may last a little longer than this, this method ensures that you change it out regularly.
Besides changing out your air filter, there are other things that you can do to keep your HVAC unit in good condition and running for as long as possible. Preventative maintenance can extend the life of your HVAC unit and can potentially keep you from having to pay for extensive repairs later on by identifying small problems before they become large problems.
Having a certified HVAC technician perform a tune-up can also improve the life of your heating and cooling system. During the tune-up the technician will most likely make adjustments to the moving parts of the unit, check for breaks and leaks and clean out system components. Optimizing the system can go a long way in making your equipment operate more efficiently and saving you money on energy bills.
Taking out twenty minutes to change out your HVAC system’s air filter can go a long way in improving the performance of your unit, your health and your utility bills as well. If you’ve never changed an air filter before and are unsure about which filter you need, seek out the help of a local HVAC company.