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When to change your filter

By comforttech97009660, Feb 8 2018 03:44PM

Every once in a while we’re asked what is the most important thing that Hampton Roads area homeowner's can do to secure their air conditioning and heating system between their seasonal tune ups? The answer is simple this; remember to change the heating and air conditioning air filter. Changing furnace and return air filters is critical to the proper performance of your HVAC system, not to mention your home's air quality. Studies show that indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental health risks? We know it's the last thing on your mind, but this is really important stuff. Changing the air filters is not all that hard for most North America homeowners, but there are usually two challenges to actually completing this job:

1. Knowing just how often to change your furnace or air conditioner filter.

2. Remembering to change air filters when needed.

When To Change Your Air Filters

Most filters have a recommended guideline on the packaging. It may say "Lasts up to 3 months" or "Change filter every 90 days". Check out the filters at the store and you'll see that some are engineered to only last a single month, while other manufacturers (like Honeywell) have produced media air cleaners with filters meant to be exchanged once every 6-12 months. The standard seems to be once every few months for higher quality filters, but we have a rule of thumb that we tell our friends and family to go by. If the filter is dirty, change it! A dirty air filter can contribute or cause damage to costly parts, like your compressor, so it's recommended to change it out more often than neglect it. If you want to follow the manufacturers recommended limit, we suggest writing the date on the filter when you swap it out, and programming a reminder for yourself in your phone or on a calendar. Also be aware that your filter manufacturer might have a different recommendation from your HVAC unit manufacturer.

Choosing how often to change your air filters can depend on several factors:

• Type of filter your A/C system requires

• The overall air quality of your North America area home

• Pets – Birds, cats, dogs, hamsters (do you have one?), etc.

• Number of occupants in the house

• General air pollution in the North America area or construction taking place nearby

For your typical 1"-3" air filters, the manufacturer specs basically say to change them bi-monthly, which is in fact a great rule of thumb. However, general guidelines are not applicable to all. If you have to tolerate light to moderate allergies, you may need to upgrade the air filter or change them even more regularly than OEM specifications. On the other hand, if you're in a remote area, own a infrequently occupied home (like a vacation home) or an area where there are fewer cars around, replacing your air filters each year may be quite sufficient. Why do pets matter so much? They have a tendency to shed, which can clog your air filter fast. Clearly, the air filter is just doing its job by capturing pet hair and dander, but tremendously dirty filters can cause weak HVAC performance.

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