As the summer begins and the temperatures start to rise, the last thing you want to be doing is checking off that to-do list when it comes to home maintenance. Spending some time getting a few things done can lead to a more enjoyable summer and changing out your HVAC air filter is one of those tasks. Changing it at this time of year is the perfect way to prepare for heavier AC use in the summer, and the increase in seasonal allergy symptoms. Many homeowners take an “out of sight out of mind approach” and can forget to change them regularly. If this sounds familiar or you tend to procrastinate this home maintenance chore, then keep reading as we dive into 3 reasons to start changing your air filter more regularly.
All about air filters
Let’s start with first things first. What does your HVAC air filter do? Air filters are an important part of your HVAC system in that they collect dust, pollen, and other particles before your air reaches your living spaces. Depending on their ratings, filters can trap larger dust particles down to particles .3 micron in size. The best part of changing it more frequently is an increase in your indoor air quality so allergy sufferers can breathe easier all year long.
Reason # 1: Removes allergens
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, then you know that they can make you miserable. Changing out your filter more regularly can keep allergens and dust out of your air – leaving you with more breathable air. If you or someone in your home suffers from allergies, we typically recommend a high-efficiency filter for your HVAC system. A higher efficiency filter will cost more and will not necessarily save you on energy costs. However, it will provide some relief and increase your indoor air quality.
High-efficiency filters are typically given a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values) rating. The higher the rating the more particles and allergens the filter will trap. For example, a filter with a MERV 1 rating will trap dust bunnies and a filter with a MERV 16 rating will trap particles as small as .3 micron. Typically, manufacturers recommend a MERV 11 rating for those who suffer from seasonal allergies.
Reason # 2: Reduces the chances of illness
High-efficiency filters not only keep allergies away, but they can also filter viruses and bacteria. These filters help trap many particles that can cause illnesses – even the common cold. The frequency in which you change your filter will depend on the number of people (and pets) who live in your home. For a single occupancy home with no pets, you can plan on changing the filter 1-2 times per year. For a multi-person home with pets, it’s best if you change the filter every 2-3 months. If you suffer from severe allergies, most manufacturers recommend replacing them every 45 days.
Reason # 3: Regulates your HVAC system
Changing your filter regularly will help your HVAC system function and extend the life of your equipment. A good filter will keep dust and grime from getting inside your system. When your filter is neglected and dirty, dust can end up coating cooling coils which will make it harder to absorb heat from the air. In short, your AC will need to work harder to provide the same cooling capacity.
If it’s been a while since you’ve taken a look at your air filter, our trained HVAC professionals are ready to help. Simply give us a call to schedule your next maintenance appointment where we can take a look at it and recommend the best one for your home and equipment.