As a homeowner or business owner, your HVAC system is essential for keeping your indoor environment comfortable and healthy. However, did you know that one of the most crucial aspects of keeping your HVAC system running efficiently and effectively is regular air filter maintenance?
In this article, we will explore why HVAC air filters are vital, what types of filters are available, how often you should change them, and the consequences of neglecting filter replacement.
Why Are HVAC Air Filters Important?
The main function of HVAC air filters is to improve indoor air quality by trapping airborne particles, like dust, mold, pet dander, and pollen. It also prevents debris from clogging internal components, allowing your system to run smoothly.
Understanding HVAC Air Filter Types
Here are the most common types of HVAC air filters available for homes and businesses:
Flat-Panel Fiberglass Filters
These are the most inexpensive options and are generally disposable but need to be replaced more frequently.
These filters are made from porous paper material that is folded into pleats to increase surface area.
They’re made from synthetic fibers and offer increased efficiency over pleated filters. They are better at filtering finer particles.
These are extremely fine-meshed filters that can remove up to 99.97% of particles. These filters are made for environments that require extremely clean air.
The Significance of HVAC Air Filter MERV Rating
The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating is a measure of a filter’s effectiveness in filtering particles. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter. Filters with a higher MERV rating trap more minute particles, but they can also reduce airflow, leading to higher energy costs. It’s essential to choose an appropriate MERV rating according to your indoor air quality needs and the manufacturer’s specifications.
How Long Do HVAC Filters Last?
In general, HVAC filters should be replaced every 1-3 months. However, this can vary depending on such factors as the type of filter, frequency of use, property location, and indoor air quality.
Frequency of Use
If you run your HVAC system constantly, you may need to replace filters more frequently. On the other hand, if you use it only occasionally or seasonally, the filter may last longer.
Properties near busy roads or construction sites may suffer from higher levels of dust and pollutants in the air. These locations require more frequent filter replacements. Also, in places with high pollen or allergen counts, more frequent filter replacements may be necessary.
Indoor Air Quality
If there are smokers or pets in the household, or if someone has allergies or respiratory issues, filters may need to be replaced more often to maintain good indoor air quality.
What Happens If You Don’t Replace Your HVAC Filter?
Neglecting to change your HVAC air filters has a significant impact on the quality of indoor air. It may lead to a range of health issues, including allergies, respiratory problems, and irritations.
A clogged air filter restricts airflow and reduces the HVAC system’s efficiency. This makes the system work harder to maintain temperature, leading to higher energy bills and a shorter lifespan. It may require costly repairs or replacement.
Signs That Your HVAC Filter Needs To Be Changed
To ensure optimal system performance, it’s important to replace your HVAC filter when it shows signs of wear and tear. Here are some common signs that your filter needs to be changed:
Visible Dirt and Dust Accumulation
If you notice you need to clean your house more frequently, it may be because the air filter is not effectively capturing dust and pollutants.
Reduced Airflow and System Efficiency
If your HVAC system is slow to heat or cool your home, a dirty air filter may be the culprit. When you notice your home feeling stuffy or smelling unpleasant, it’s highly likely that your air filter is clogged with dander and other pollutants.
Unusual Noises From the HVAC System
If you start hearing unusual noises, like whistling or squeaking, coming from your HVAC system, it may be an indication of a clogged filter.
Let Efficiency Plumbing Handle Your HVAC Filter Replacement
With so many things to tackle in your daily life, it’s easy to forget about replacing your HVAC filter. Let Efficiency Plumbing take the hassle out of this task for you. Proudly serving Hanover, MA, and the South Shore area, our team of experts will ensure that your HVAC system is running efficiently and effectively with a new, clean filter.
We also offer a comprehensive list of residential and commercial plumbing, heating, and cooling services. Contact us today for an appointment.