The air filter in your home is one of the simplest parts of your HVAC system, but it is essential to keeping your unit running smoothly and efficiently. Over time, the air filter gathers dirt and other contaminants and could hinder the airflow in your home and create mechanical issues for your HVAC system. Air filters do exactly the job that their name suggests. They filter the air in your home. They don’t just block the dust and pollen from your floating around your home, however, they also keep bigger particles and debris out of your HVAC system and prevent damage.
A dirty filter can create several issues with your HVAC system, air ducts, and around your home. Preventing many of these issues and making sure that you have the highest quality air free of allergens could be as simple as maintaining your air filter. Let’s take a look at some ways to get the most out of your air filters.
Change your filter regularly.
Air filters are an essential but often overlooked part of your HVAC system. If you are among those homeowners who regularly forget to change your filter, you are not alone. These filters are usually out of sight and simply get forgotten about. It is important to create a reminder, however, so that your filter and system are maintained on a regular basis.
A clean air filter keeps out pollen, dust, and other pollutants that could create lower indoor air quality. These filters also serve as the first line of defense against keeping larger debris such as loose insulation from being sucked into the system causing damage or fire risk. Most HVAC units last between 10-15 years, however, chronically dirty air filters can cause HVAC system failure and shorten the life of the unit.
Know the type of filter you need.
All air filters have a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) that is based on how efficient they are at circulating cleaner air through the HVAC unit. To get the most out of your ac system and your air filters, you should make sure that you’re using the right MERV for your home. If you are like most homeowners today, you probably have filters with a MERV of one to four in your home right now. Many homeowners use these filters because of the lower price.
These filters, however, only catch larger particles and provide minimum protection for your unit and air quality. If you want to make sure that your unit is super efficient, you will want to go with a filter that has a MERV of five to eight. If you have allergy sensitivities or asthma and are concerned about air pollutants, you will want a filter with a MERV of nine or above. It is important to note that the higher the MERV, the quicker the filter will become dirty and need to be replaced.
Set the thermostat to auto.
Some people like to set the thermostat to “ON” to keep air circulating all the time. When the thermostat fan is set to “ON” the AC blower constantly runs even if the cooling cycle isn’t on. HVAC technicians say that this reduces the efficiency of your filter, however. This is because the blower isn’t just pushing conditioned air through your home, it is also pulling warm air into the unit. This means that a constant airflow is bringing pollutants, dust, and other contaminants through your filter. Naturally, if the air handler is constantly bringing in air from your home, the filter will become saturated much faster. This will require you to change them more frequently. Setting the unit to auto will shut the blower on and off as needed.
Air filters are an important piece of your HVAC unit. They regulate air quality and ensure that your unit is running efficiently. For filters to work properly, you need to make sure that you are using the right kind for your needs and that they are changed regularly. Doing so will make sure that you are getting the most out of your filters and your air system.