When Should You Change Your Air Filter? Here’s What You Should Know

Your HVAC is one of the most important parts of your house as it helps filter the air you breathe and improve its quality. But when was the last time you changed your air filter? Are there any issues with your HVAC system? In that case, you must hire a professional plumber to help fix your HVAC system. 

How HVAC air filters work

Air filters are usually made from the same material used in attic insulation or pleated paper and cardboard frame. The HVAC air filters serve as a barrier to keep contaminants from entering your HVAC system that could affect air quality and even cause health problems in the household. 

Most air filters are specially designed to eliminate allergens, including pet dander, mold, dust, and bacteria. It also usually has a MERV rating which determines the size and type of pollutants the filter will get rid of.

Meanwhile, the MERV rating stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It measures how effective the filter is in screening contaminants. Air filters with MERV 16 and below rating mean it has HVAC-system-grade filters for hospital, commercial, and residential use. Those with ratings of MERV 17 to 20 filter are commonly used in operating rooms and other places that require extra cleanliness and sanitation. 

However, a higher MERV rating is not always better. It could even affect its performance and efficiency if you use an air filter with a rating higher than your HVAC manufacturer recommends. 

When should you change your air filter? 

First, it is important to know the difference between filters for different types of HVAC systems. Many factors can affect the need to change a filter, such as the climate, the size of the home, and the number of occupants. The more you use your home, the more often you should change your air filters. 

There are three main HVAC filters: furnace, air handler, and duct/grille filters. A furnace filter must be changed once a year or more often if it is dirty. An air handler filter should be replaced every 3 months, and a grille or duct needs to be changed every 3-6 months, depending on how often it gets used.

In general, experts recommend changing your air filter every 3 months. Depending on your house’s location, if you have pets, and the HVAC system’s age, it could vary. In such cases, you might have to change your filters every 20-60 days. Vacation or vacant homes can wait longer to change filters, usually every 9 months to a year. 

What happens if you don’t change your air filter? 

Air filters will improve air quality and protect your HVAC system’s sensitive components. Eventually, your filters will be filled with dirt and dust, and you have to clean or change them. If you don’t change your filter regularly, it won’t filter air properly, become less efficient, and consume more energy. 

That is why you should take care of your HVAC system and change your air filter. Contact a professional plumbing service in Spring Hill, TN, today for complicated repairs!


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