For most homeowners, the health of their HVAC system isn’t a top concern. It’s easy to forget about HVAC maintenance until something stops working, but ignoring regular maintenance until your system needs repairs can become expensive very quickly. Regularly changing your air filter is a great way to avoid system failure and improve your indoor air quality. Here’s everything you need to know about your air filter and the importance of changing it on a schedule.

The Purpose of Air Filters

Air filters do the very important job of removing contaminants like dust, mold spores, dander, pollen, pet fur, and bacteria from your home’s air. They’re usually placed in return ducts, which suck air in and push it through the filter with enough force to remove contaminant particles. The filtered air is circulated back through the vents and into your home.

How Often You Should Replace Your Filter

The time between filter replacements depends on a few things. Filters come in different strengths measured by MERV ratings. Lower MERV filters should be checked more often, while higher MERV filters might be able to go longer in between checkups. However, the most important consideration is the number of pets in your home. Houses with no pets can usually go 90 days without changing their filter. Single pet households should change their filters every 60 days, while homes with multiple pets should only wait 20 to 45 days between filter changes. For a quick checkup on your filter, take it out and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see through the filter, it’s time for a change.

The Consequences of Neglecting Your Air Filter

When you filter goes too long without being changed, contaminants like dust and pet fur will build up and be much harder for the air to penetrate. This can cause higher electric bills, poor temperature regulation, and lower indoor air quality. Air quality changes can negatively affect the health of the people in your home, especially those who have allergies or respiratory health issues.

How to Change an Air Filter

Before switching out your old filter, you need to get a new one. Look for the size of your filter, which is usually printed on the cardboard frame. If you want to improve your indoor air quality with a stronger filter, you should get one with a MERV rating of 10 or higher. Be sure to wear gloves and a mask when changing your filter.

Look for your air filter. They’re usually located in return ducts, which are much larger than other vents. If your home has more than one return duct, it might be a challenge to find the one that holds the filter. Start by turning off the power to your HVAC system to keep yourself and your equipment safe from harm. Open the vent and slide the old filter out of the slot holding it in place. Put it in a trash bag and dispose of it as soon as you’re done. Then simply slide the new filter in place, close the vent, and turn the power back on.

HVAC Maintenance and Repairs with Ellis AC

If you have any questions about air filters or need HVAC maintenance or repairs, Ellis AC can help. Our team is dedicated to top-notch service and client satisfaction, and we’ll always take the time to answer any questions you may have. Call or visit our website for more information or a free quote on our services!