Air filters may be located in a variety of locations around your house. They are commonly found in air conditioners, ventilation systems, furnaces, and other heating systems. They work there to enhance the air quality inside your home.
Cleaning and maintaining a home may be time-consuming, and filters are sometimes overlooked. The frequency with which you should change your air filter is determined by a number of variables. But first, what happens if you choose not to replace your air filters?
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What Are the Benefits of Changing Air Filters?
Air is pushed through the filter by the HVAC system, capturing dirt, dust, pollen, mould, and other particles. Filters can acquire dirt if they are left untreated, resulting in the following:
Airflow efficiency has decreased.
Damage to your air conditioning or heating system.
Lower air quality causes problems and illnesses in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
An increase in your energy bill. Filters that are dirty force your HVAC system to work harder, which raises your energy cost. Unclogging your air conditioner, for example, can save you 5 to 15% on your power cost.
When Should You Replace Your Air Filter?
If you live alone, don’t have allergies, and don’t have small children or pets, changing your screen every six months is usually sufficient. The durability of your filter, on the other hand, is determined by the sort of filter you have. The higher the quality, the more effective and long-lasting it is in retaining dirt.
Types of Filters
The material used and the MERV level (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) determine the filter’s quality.
The lower the MERV number, the fewer particles the filter will let through. A MERV 8 or higher screen is suggested for the optimum filtering.
Filters that can be washed
A thread-like mesh is used to construct these filters. They give the least level of filtration — MERV 1 to 3 — despite being reusable. Pollen, hair, dust, and fur will be blocked, but viruses, dust mites, smoke, and spores will pass through.
These filters should be updated at least once every three months, if not regularly.
Filters made of fibreglass
Fibreglass filters are low-cost and typically have MERV ratings of 2 to 4. They can, however, trap dust mites, unlike washable screens. This sort of screen, however, needs to be replaced every 30 to three months.
These are more expensive alternatives to the preceding two. They are also capable of capturing more dirt than the two preceding varieties — MERV 6 to 10. Although certain high-quality pleated filters only need to be updated every six months, a standard pleated filter should be replaced every 90 days.
To give a better efficiency — MERV 8 to 16 — these screens are electromagnetically charged. They can also block viruses and smoke when compared to other types. They are more expensive and necessitate the use of specialized HVAC systems.
Once a year, these filters must be changed. As a result, they’re a popular choice for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of time to devote to filter cleaning.
Finally, HEPA filters are at the top of the air filter spectrum, with MERV 17 to 20 ratings and the ability to filter up to 99.9% of all particles. They can be expensive, but they only need to be updated every six to twelve months. Some pleated styles can endure for up to two years.
The thickness of the filter
Screens are available in a variety of thicknesses, ranging from 1 to 5 inches. The more dirt it can contain and the more durable it is, the thicker the material is.
Special Conditions When Changing Air Filters
You may wish to update the screen more frequently in the following situations:
- If anyone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, it’s advisable to replace it every month or up to six weeks.
- Pets: Dogs and cats generate strong odours and lose hair at different times of the year. If you only have one pet, changing the filter every two months should enough. When there are numerous dogs in the house, however, replacing the air filter on a regular basis is suggested.
- Babies and toddlers are particularly sensitive to air quality. So, at least every two to three months, replace your air filter to guarantee that they are breathing pure air.
- If you use an air conditioner or a heating system frequently, swap them out every few weeks as needed. If it’s your second home, though, inspecting it every six months should enough.
- The larger your home is, the more air it lets in, which may necessitate more frequent upkeep.
- Outside air quality: It’s also vital to think about the air quality outside your house. We recommend checking the filter quality more frequently if you live in a polluted region or near a highway.
Indications Your Filter Needs Replacing
If you’re not sure which of the categories above best describes your air filter, have a look at the list below. A short visual inspection might indicate whether or not the screen should be replaced.
You may leave it alone for a few weeks if there is only a small layer of dust on it. When you hold the filter up to a light source and can’t see through it, it’s time to change it.
Furthermore, if your power bill is greater than normal, it’s an indication that something needs to be done. Check the condition of your screen if you’re starting to notice the first indications of allergies.
How to Change an Air Filter
Changing an air filter is an easy and uncomplicated procedure.
It’s usually a good idea to start by reading the user’s manual. It tells you what kind of filter you need and what size is appropriate for your HVAC system.
Remember that using a filter that isn’t suggested by the manufacturer would almost certainly void your warranty.
The next step is to decide if you need a washable, fibreglass, pleated, electronic, or HEPA filter. Then double-check your existing screen’s measurements to be sure the new one will fit.
Turn off the HVAC system before doing any work. A separate opening system may be included with each piece of ventilation, cooling, or heating equipment. However, you can usually reach the filter by removing a cover or unscrewing it; either way, it’s not difficult.
Remove the old filter and replace it with the new one. Arrows pointing in one direction — where the air is moving — may be seen on the frame’s side. Make sure the replacement screen is placed in the proper orientation.
Spray the side opposing the airflow if you used a washable filter. To avoid the fibre material breaking or separating, keep the water pressure low.
Replacing Your filters At Home
Maintaining high indoor air quality requires replacing your HVAC filter on a regular basis. The more particles your screen can stop, the longer it will typically survive. The effectiveness of a filter is evaluated in MARV levels, which typically range from 1 to 20.
Most models should be replaced every six months at the absolute least. However, depending on the filter’s quality, allergies, or the presence of children and pets, more regular maintenance may be required.
Remove the old filter and place the new one in the correct direction after selecting the size and kind of filter you want. It’s a good idea to keep track of your last maintenance date so you know when the next one is.