The Benefits of Regularly Changing Air Filters at Home

Last updated on October 14, 2020

The filters in your HVAC units do not work forever — they need to be changed regularly. Here’s why.

With fires raging around the country and a deadly disease floating in the air outside, it is more important than ever that the air in your home is clean and pure. Changing your filters is easy and it is essential to maintain healthy air quality in your home. 

What's Inside?

How an Air Filter Works

air filter

Air filters are found in air conditioners, home furnaces, and heat pumps. They play a major role in keeping your home comfortable. 

An air filter is comprised of either cloth or pleated paper that is in a cardboard frame or spun fiberglass. They work by trapping dirt and debris and other contaminants and preventing them from getting into the air in your home. It also traps things like animal hair and lint. 

Filtration happens when air that has been expended returns to the HVAC unit. This air will be reconditioned and released again. When this happens, the air is pushed through the filter. Over time, the filter will become clogged with the debris that travels through it. 

An air filter’s quality is measured by its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). MERV values range from 1 to 16. Higher numbers are of higher quality. 

If a filter is rated from 1 to 5, it will be economically priced and do a sufficient job of filtering out major particles in the air. Filters that are rated 6 to 8 are generally made from cloth which captures more particles than fiberglass. A filter that is rated from 9 to 12 is high quality and can capture particles that are only 1 micron big. A filter that is rated from 13 to 16 is considered to be if the highest quality and it can remove microns that are as small as 0.3. 

Although there are air filters that are higher than 16, it is not recommended that you use them in a house. They are so thick that they can actually damage your HVAC system.

Changing your air filters is very important. You should check your air filters monthly and change them every three months. 

Why You Should Change Your Filter

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There are many reasons to regularly clean and change your filter. A clean filter can be critical 

If a filter is dirty, It will not be able to do its job properly. It can also cause contaminants to buildup in your air conditioner. 

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It Will Save You Money

If you don’t change your filter, the build-up of dirt will eventually cause your heater or air conditioner to break. When air is unable to pass through the vents, it can cause a unit to overheat. When the unit overheats the fan will have to work harder to circulate air. This will expound more energy and cause your heating bills to go up.

Home repairs and improvements are very costly and a new HVAC is a major expense. The more often you change your filter, the longer your system is likely to last. You should check your air filters monthly and change them every three months. New filters are inexpensive and electricity is very expensive. Changing your filters regularly can cut your energy bills considerably. 

Chances are you will have to have your heating and cooling system repaired several times during its lifetime. Changing your filter regularly can reduce the number of times you will have to get the repairs done. The most common problems people report with air conditioners and heaters are odors, poor performance, and strange noises. Each of these problems can be fixed by continuing to change the filters. 

When debris and pet hair get trapped in your filter, it will eventually build up so much that it will find its way to the other components of your HVAC system and that can cause damage. HVAC repairs can be very expensive and having to buy a new unit can be between $4,820 to $9,350.

It is Better for the Environment

A poorly performing air conditioner uses a lot of electricity. Clean filters will cause the system to work smoothly and use less energy. The average air conditioner uses 3000 to 5000 watts of electricity per hour. There is no need to make maters worse. 

The Temperature Will be Easier to Control

You should always be perfectly comfortable when you are in your own home. When you have dirty filters, it blocks the air as it comes out and this can make the unit run too hot or too cold. When you have clean filters, you will find the temperature is much easier to control. 

It will Prevent You From Having an Allergy Attack

If you have pets, dander from dog and cat fur can get into the air and cause problems for people who are allergic to animal fur. Allergy sufferers may avoid having to taking allergy pills or getting expensive shots if they simply replace their air filters on a regular basis. 

The CDC has recommended getting the highest-rated filter that your HVAC can handle in order to stop the transmission of the deadly Coronavirus.  A study in March shows that the virus travels in respiratory droplets that can be as small as about 2.5 microns in diameter and smaller.

High-quality air filters can also be beneficial for people with asthma and other respiratory issues.

People eat, bathe, and sleep in their homes and it is the place where the air quality is the very most important. Filters can help prevent mold and other toxins from entering your living space.

As with anything else in your home, good maintenance will make your HVAC system last much longer. Filters are cheap and easy to replace and you can also get discount air filters. You need air to live and clean air to live well. New filters can prevent a multitude of problems and make your home a clean and pleasant place to live.

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