You can’t ignore the importance of a working HVAC system if you are in an area that experiences extreme weather conditions. However, one system component that needs regular maintenance is the air filter. The filters can clog over time, calling for a replacement.
Since replacing an old HVAC filter is demanding, you should involve experts like Autumn Air Heating And Cooling to help you change it. You don’t have to struggle to replace the filter if you lack the expertise for the job. Instead, let professional HVAC technicians help you.
Changing HVAC filters is usually one of the most forgotten maintenance routines despite being the most straightforward task. However, to have a perfect cooling and heating system at your home, maintenance of the air filter is mandatory. But how often do you replace HVAC air filters?
Signs that your air filter is due for cleaning or replacement
Other than preventing breakdowns that are expensive to repair, replacing an air filter in your HVAC system can prolong its lifespan. Thankfully, most of these systems have manuals, and many companies recommend changing air filters after three months with countable exceptions.
For example, changing your air filters after 60 days would be ideal if you keep pets. Also, if you have people with multiple respiratory health conditions and numerous pets, it would be perfect to often change your air filter after every 20 to 45 days.
Here are the signs to help you know it’s time to replace your HVAC filter.
Dirt and dust around vents
When air filters collect dirt and dust around the AC vent, it’s time to replace it. It mainly happens due to clogging, which leads to the accumulation of dust particles. So, you’ll always see dust on surfaces and furniture. Another clogged filter is when people with allergies tend to get worse.
The HVAC filter clogs
Most of the time, before even your HVAC system fails to work due to a filter issue, there are usually visual signs most people tend to ignore.
For example, if your air filter seems clogged, dust-coated, damaged, or torn, it could indicate that it needs replacement as fast as possible. But unfortunately, a clogged air filter can also restrict airflow, and you must do something about it.
The escalation of the electricity bill
According to research by the Residential Program Guide, a resource of the U.S. Department of Energy, if suddenly your power bill shoots up without your service provider in your area raising the rates, your HVAC system is overworked.
As a result, you’ll end up paying for wasted energy that could be resolved by frequently checking your filter, cleaning it, and replacing it when necessary.
The HVAC system takes longer to cool or heat your home
Have you recently noticed that air released from your HVAC system’s vents is warmer than it is supposed to be? Or is the system taking longer to warm your home?
Then the air filter in your HVAC system could be dirty. A dirty air filter can limit the air circulating through the system, making it hard to cool or heat a room.
A hot AC unit
As your HVAC system works extremely hard to compensate for the clogged air filter, it can heat up. If that’s the case, you will notice that it’s hot or warm when touched outside.
The warm air can blow the back of your system, thus causing frequent breakages that can lead to costly repairs and ultimate AC breakdown.
Factors to consider when choosing an HVAC filter replacement
According to Forbes Home magazine, replacing your HVAC filter is non-negotiable. Nevertheless, the market is full of many HVAC filters, and choosing the best may be tricky, especially if it’s your first time.
Here are factors to consider before purchasing a filter for replacement.
- The standard and dimensions sizes
- The MERV (minimum efficiency reported value) rating measures the filter’s efficiency.
- Filter construction: When you are out to select your HVAC filter, choose one that is self-supported and wire-backed or one with SSP options.
- Pressure drop/ initial resistance: High-efficient filters tend to capture loads of contaminants that can result in reduced air circulation inside the blower. So, an HVAC filter with low initial resistance results in the fan consuming low energy.
- The capacity to hold dust: The lifespan of a filter depends on its ability to collect and trap dust. A filter with increased Dust Holding Capacity (DHC) extends its life.
What happens if you fail to replace your HVAC filter?
If you fail to replace your HVAC filter, it will malfunction and allow contaminants and dust to enter the HVAC system. That will jam the moving parts, such as valves and motors.
Additionally, when your HVAC system strains, it will require more power to eliminate the obstacle making it energy ineffective and leading to breakdowns.
Most people have always needed to understand the functionality of an air filter. Most users assume that an air filter must purify the air rather than protect sensitive parts of your HVAC. It is crucial to note that there are highly efficient and standard filters in the market.
The highly-efficient filters out minute bacterial, fungal, and mold particles, while the standard filters only block large dust particles, hair, and dirt.
HVAC filters won’t work for eternity because they will eventually become dirty and dusty. Depending on the filter type, you can either replace or clean yours. The disposable ones are made from paper with cardboard screens and frames, while the sturdier ones are reusable.
The Energeo Alliance recommends investing in a highly efficient HVAC system. It can reduce energy use and serve you for a long time. However, a need to replace the filter may arise. All you need to do is work with a reputable HVAC contractor to change your filters. They’ll advise on the best filters to use in your HVAC system.