Occassionally we’re asked what is the best thing that the U.S. area homeowner’s can do to ensure efficient functionality of their air conditioning and heating system between their regular tune-ups? Our advice is simple; remember to change the heating and air conditioning air filter. Buying new furnace and return air filters is extremely important to the proper performance of your HVAC system, plus your home’s air quality. Research suggests that indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks? It’s not thought of often, but it is extremely important to consider. Changing the air filters is not difficult for most the U.S. homeowners, but there are often two challenges to actually completing this job:
Most filters have a timeline printed on the packaging. It may read “Lasts up to 3 months” or “Change filter every 90 days”. Check out the filters at the store and you should see that some are designed to only last a month, while other manufacturers (like Honeywell) have produced media air cleaners with filters meant to be changed once every 6-12 months. The standard seems to be once every three months for most higher quality filters, but we have a rule of thumb that we suggest our friends, and family to go by. If the filter is dirty, change it! A dirty air filter can contribute or cause damage to pricey components, like your compressor, so it’s better to change it out more often than to let it go. If you want to stick to the manufacturer’s recommended limit, we suggest marking the date on the filter when you swap it out, and adding a reminder for yourself in your phone or on a calendar. Also note that your filter manufacturer might have a different recommendation from your HVAC system manufacturer.
Deciding how often to change your air filters relies upon several factors:
For your standard 1″-3″ air filters, the manufacturers basically say to change them bi-monthly, which is in fact a great rule of thumb. Still, general guidelines are not applicable to all. If you suffer from light to moderate allergies, you might need to upgrade your air filter or change them even more often than OEM specifications. On the other hand, if you’re in a less populated area, own a seldom occupied home (like a vacation home) or an area where there are fewer cars around, annual replacement of your air filter may be quite sufficient. Why do we call out our beloved pets? They have a tendency to shed, which can clog your air filter fast. Clearly, the air filter is just doing its job by capturing pet hair and dander, but extremely dirty filters can cause diminished HVAC performance.
It’s simple; sign up for the Service Experts Email Club. This is a great to receive discounts on service, tips and other helpful information directly to your email. But wait… there’s more, your email subscription preferences let’s you set a reminder to change your the U.S. area home’s air filter every 30, 60, 90, 120 or 365 days, or the date of your choosing.
Most of us know how to replace the air filter in their system, but some residences have an extra filter in the return ductwork. Whether you have one or not is dependent on the HVAC manufacturer’s recommendation. Your system is designed to handle a maximum amount of pressure in your house, and the more filters you have the more the blower motor works, which can decrease the life expectancy of your system if it isn’t designed for it. Learning whether you have a return filter and replacing it is a piece of cake:
Amazing as it may seem, filters can really alter your home’s airflow, which is why we recommend referring to the manufacturer. A more expensive HEPA filter that is designed to catch tinier debris will reduce airflow more than a cheaper filter. With restricted airflow comes more pressure on your system, so you should verify that your HVAC system was made to handle it. Otherwise, you may experience uneven heating and cooling efficiency in your home, and system parts may die off much faster than the standard.
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