Best Practices for Changing the Air Filter
Can any homeowner remember the last time they replaced their filter? For most, the answer is probably no. After all, it doesn’t exactly give them reminders like the water filter in the refrigerator or coffee machine does. But if they’ve ever gone to change it and been greeted by a blizzard of dust, they know it’s worth keeping an eye on their filter.
This article will tell homeowners how often to replace their filter, and how the timeframe can vary from home to home.
Signs the HVAC Filter Needs Replacing
There are a few ways to tell if the air filter is ready to be changed. If the power bill is inexplicably going up, it may be an indication that the HVAC unit is being forced to work harder to pull air through a dust-laden filter. This may also cause the unit itself to get overly hot, which can severely shorten its lifespan. If the unit is struggling in this way, it will fail to maintain the correct temperature in the home. If an AC is blowing warm air (or cold air when the heater is on), check the air filter first.
If the intake vent is caked with dust, or if the filter itself is gray or coated to the point that light won’t penetrate it, it needs replacing. If homeowners notice that their furniture, shelves, or countertops seem to be accumulating more dust than usual - particularly near air supply vents - there’s a good chance the filter is full of dust.
The Importance of Routine Filter Replacement
Buying air filters and changing them out on a regular basis may seem like a lot, but it can save loads of money in the long run. Aside from keeping the electricity bill down, it will help ensure that their HVAC unit is operating at maximum efficiency, is not being overworked, and will keep on going strong for many years to come.
Failing to replace the air filter frequently enough can pose a serious health risk, especially if they’re prone to allergies or respiratory irritation. One function of an HVAC filter is to maintain air quality by trapping dander and dust. If the filter mesh gets saturated, these substances will get through and pollute the air. Some top-grade filters are designed to drastically reduce the presence of harmful allergens and pollutants, for those with specific health requirements. Clean air improves the household's health, and can even lead to better sleep.
How Often To Replace the Filter
How frequently a homeowner needs to change their filter depends on a few key factors. In the summer and winter months, when the unit is getting more use, it may be necessary to shorten the interval a bit. If they have no pets, no allergies, and don’t use the AC or heater very often, homeowners can get away with changing the filter every 3-6 months, depending on the outdoor air quality.
Once every month or two is a good baseline if there’s only one pet, but if there are multiple pets or someone in the household has allergy concerns, it’s a good idea to replace the filter every 3-6 weeks.
It pays to keep an eye on the filter and mark the calendar for the next replacement date, but it also pays to schedule regular maintenance with a trusted air conditioning company. They can keep a unit healthy and diagnose any problems that a filter replacement doesn’t solve.
About 4 Seasons Heating & Cooling
4 Seasons Heating & Cooling has been serving Reno, Nevada, with pride since 2008. They are licensed, insured, and offer upfront pricing and 10-year parts and labor warranty on every install. They are a local family-owned and operated business. Give them a call to schedule AC maintenance in Reno today!