Changing the air filters in our home is an often forgotten task. Many homeowners or renters aren’t familiar with the process or the importance of changing their air filter. Some aren’t aware that the air filter needs to be changed during the summer as well as winter. But with allergy season upon us, it is a good time to be reminded. When was the last time you changed your air filter?
What does the air filter do?
Your air filter prevents airborne particles like dirt, dust, mold, pollen, bacteria and other impurities from entering your HVAC system. Without a clean air filter in place those impurities would enter your home and circulate throughout your rooms via your air duct system.
It is important to change your filter regularly as the air contaminants can build up on the filter blocking airflow which overwork your HVAC system. An overworked HVAC system wastes electricity. It can malfunction and even shorten its expected lifespan.
How often you change your air filter depends on several factors.
A general guideline is to change your air filter every 60 – 90 days depending on your filter type, indoor and outdoor air quality, whether you have pets, and how frequently your home is occupied. If you have a home with pets, or allergy sufferers, or someone who easily gets ill, you will likely benefit from a more frequent filter change schedule. A helpful tip is to write the date on the side of the air filter using a Sharpie when you install it so you’ll easily be able to keep track of when you last changed your air filter.
1. Check your manufacturer’s recommendation.
Your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website should have a recommended filter type and replacement schedule listed. Often a filter that is 1 – 3 inches thick is recommended and should be changed every 60 – 90 days, but a more frequent change would be advisable depending on your families health needs and air quality.
2. Consider your indoor environment.
Beyond the manufacturer recommendations you also need to consider the air quality of your home. If you have lots of foot traffic or have pets, you’ll likely benefit from replacing your filter more regularly as pet dander, hair, dust, dirt, bacteria, mold, and other particulates can be present in your indoor air. The air in your home gets circulated through the air ducts making it especially important to have a clean air filter in place to trap the allergy causing debris from spreading from room to room. If your home is not occupied frequently, your air filter may last 6 – 9 months. You can always pull out the air filter and visibly check to see how clean it looks. If there appears to be a buildup of debris, it is best to replace it.
3. Consider your outdoor environment.
Your air conditioner and furnace draw air from the outside into your home. If the pollen levels are high, excavating is nearby, or there is just a lot of pollution in the air, all of this contributes to airborne particulates that can clog your air filter. If these factors are present you’ll need to change your air filter more frequently.
St George, generally has good air quality when compared to other areas of Utah. You still have to deal with allergens and dust from construction and excavating but keeping up with a frequent air filter change schedule can greatly help you to breathe easier.
Other benefits of frequently changing your air filter:
A clean air filter allows your air conditioner and furnace to operate most efficiently, which can lower your energy bills. Having clean air in your home is also good for your health.
If you are not sure how to change your air filter, give the experts at Black Diamond Heating and Air a call. We offer an air conditioner tune-up service and a furnace tune-up service at an amazing price that includes a standard filter change. Our friendly technicians will be happy to show you how to change your filter.