People often ask our technicians how often they should change their air conditioning filters, and no wonder! HVAC filters can be confusing.
Depending on the type of filter you use, your location, how many people and animals live with you, and the overall health of your system, a filter can last from one to three months. It’s important to change your filter regularly. It’s your first defense against those nasty allergens that can turn any season uncomfortable, no matter the weather.
If your air filter is clogged, your HVAC system may not be able to pull in the air it needs to properly circulate the air it’s treating. This can cause your system to be overworked, resulting in higher utility bills and a shorter HVAC lifetime.
Choosing the Best HVAC Filter ?
An air filter works by trapping dust, hair, pollen, and other particles floating in the air before they can enter your ducts and the heating and cooling unit. Particles in the ducts or the unit can cause a lot of problems, from slowing down the unit to forming mold within your ducts–a serious problem that requires special treatment by professionals.
When you buy replacements, you’ll want to get the right size for your intake, but take a moment to look through some of the other HVAC filters that are out there. You might find something that works even better!
There are many types of filters from inexpensive fiberglass to washable electrostatic fiber. You’ll want to choose the best type of filter for your household.
Timely rotation or cleanings of your HVAC filters are your first defense against an inefficient system. Dirty filters reduce the airflow over your cooling coils, making your system work harder without cooling as well. Dust or particles from an ill-fitting or weak filter may collect on the cooling unit, requiring professional duct cleaning and service.
Long term damage to your system may require duct cleaning or even the replacement of your unit.
How Do I Know When to Change My Filter?
The answer is different for every household. Keep in mind these three questions:
- How many people live in the house?
- How many furry friends live with you?
- How sensitive are you to allergens?
As a general rule, fewer people and animals mean less dust to get trapped in your air filter, and the opposite is also true. If you live alone, you can probably get by with changing your filter with the changes of the seasons or every 3 months.
Move that timeline up about 2 weeks for every additional person or pet in your house, but keep in mind that some animals are harder on your filter than others: that fuzzy Great Pyrenees is going to tax your HVAC system harder than a hamster.
Nashville is particularly difficult on those with allergies, but a properly maintained filter can help reduce your symptoms.
Check your filter and consider changing it if:
- You’re having allergy attacks that don’t abate when you go indoors
- A family member has left the windows open
- The season has changed
Remembering to Change the AC Filter?
You may want to try bundling this chore with other necessary household duties. Do you check your smoke detector batteries every month? Check or change your air filter at the same time.
Buy that huge bag of dog food every 6 weeks? Get in the habit of changing your air filter then. Refill your allergy medicine every month? Take a look at your air filter when you open up that pharmacy bag.
All of us at Jewell Mechanical deeply care about the quality and safety of the air you’re breathing at home and at work.
If you have any questions about your air conditioning filter, ducts or HVAC maintenance please give our team of professionals a call in Nashville at: (615) 469-5965. You can also fill out our contact form and we will be happy to help you with any of your residential and commercial HVAC needs.