How Often Do You REALLY Need to Change Your HVAC Filter?
When was the last time you changed your HVAC filter? If the answer to that question was ‘months ago’, you should probably add that to your to-do list. Air filters help to improve the quality of the air inside of your home. Without high quality indoor air, you may not be as comfortable inside of your home as you used to be. Clean air filters also help your unit run better by increasing airflow. Proper airflow will lower your energy bills and keep your system in great shape. Not sure what type of air filter is right for your home? Contact Cardinal Plumbing, Heating and Air at (703) 721-8888. Keep reading to find out how often you should change your air filter according to what your home needs.
Air Filter TypeThere are all kinds of air filter options for your home. The type that your system needs will dictate how often it should be changed. Here are some air filters that you may use:
- Fiberglass filters are affordable but are not the best at straining out airborne pollutants and dust particles. These filters should be changed a minimum of every 30 days.
- Pleated air filters are better for straining out dust and pollutants because they are folded. However, to have a higher efficiency, the filter needs to have a high number of folds. This can make these types more costly. These filters can be changed less often — six months at the most.
- UV filters are most highly recommended by HVAC companies for homeowners with high amounts of mold and allergens. However, these must be used with units that specialize in pressure. These filters can last up to a year or less.
- HEPA filters are the best filters for people with allergies and other health conditions. They do not need to be changed often, only every three to four years.
- Washable filters are reusable, making them great for the environment. However, they are not well-suited for straining out small particles. Be sure to always completely dry the filter to avoid mold growths. This eco-friendly option takes away the need to buy replacements but do not have the same benefits as others.
- Electrostatic air filters work with electric charges to filter out dust. However, they tend to only work on larger particles. These filters should be replaced every six months or as needed.
Size of Your HomeThe size of your home will help determine how often you need to change your filter. If your home is on the smaller side, your HVAC unit will not need to distribute as much air to cover the area. Due to this, there isn’t a great need for changing the air filter as frequently. If you live in a larger home then you will need to replace your filters more frequently. The number of filters that you have will also determine how often you need to change them. A small home with many requires less changing than a large home with few. If you are unsure about how often you need to change your filters, contact an HVAC specialist to help you.
Home LocationIt may be surprising, but the location of your home or business will factor into what filter you need. Whether you live in a rural area or in a city center, your quality of air matters. Cities may carry more pollution which needs to be filtered out by a higher quality air filter. Whereas in rural areas, there may be more allergens, such as pollen, that you don’t want coming into your home.
Health ConditionsHealth conditions are important to note, especially asthma and allergies. Outside air is filled with pollen, dust and other particles which could increase allergies and sensitivity. If this is the case, you may need to get a HEPA filter that will be better at straining out allergens and irritants If you have a pet, dander also factors into health conditions. When you add shedding pets to the mix, the air filter needs to be replaced every one to two months. Contact Ashburn HVAC services for HVAC maintenance — the technicians will let you know if your filter is ready for a replacement.
Air Conditioning UsageHow much do you use your air conditioner? The answer to this question might change how often you should replace your filter. Living in a hot climate means that you probably spend more time inside with the AC on full blast. Higher usage results in more frequent filter changes. Your HVAC usage will change throughout the seasons, so be mindful of when you are using your unit more often.
Is It Time To Replace Your Filter?Although it is always recommended to implement a replacement schedule, it’s not uncommon to forget to change your filter. However, this can cause some unexpected issues in your system. Here are some signs that you need to change your filter:
- Air filter is obviously grey.
- Noticeable, strange odors.
- Visible dust on the filter.
- Increase in allergies and respiratory problems.
- More dust in the home than usual.
- Strange noises can be heard when the system cycles.
- It is taking longer for the system to cycle on.