The air filter is an essential component of any HVAC system because it works to trap dust and airborne debris. This is important for preventing damage and keeping the system working effectively. All HVAC air filters have a limited life span since the dust and debris they trap will result in the filter slowly clogging up. The only way to avoid diminished airflow is to change the filter regularly. Since the filter also helps to trap pollen and some airborne pollutants, changing it will also help avoid indoor air quality issues. How often the air filter needs to be changed depends on a few different factors, and here is a quick overview of these so you can more easily know when to replace yours. Meanwhile, you’ll discover why changing it is so important.
Recommended Air Filter Replacement Schedule
Generally speaking, you should never go more than three months without putting in a new filter. One factor is how often your HVAC system runs. In Cape Coral, most HVAC systems run for many hours a day during the hotter months from late spring to early fall. In the cooler times from fall to spring, your HVAC may only run for a short period each day or not run at all on some days. When your HVAC system gets lots of daily use, it’s generally always best to change the air filter every four to eight weeks, whereas changing the filter every two or three months is usually fine when your system doesn’t get as much use.
If you have an older home, you may also want to change your air filter more frequently. This is because older homes usually have lots of leaks that allow more air and dust to get inside, and all of that dust will cause the filter to clog more quickly. You should also change the air filter more often if you have indoor pets in the home since all of the hair and pet dander they shed will also result in the filter getting dirtier more quickly.
Why Changing the Air Filter Is Essential
Changing the air filter is the most important part of maintaining your HVAC system and ensuring it is performing effectively and efficiently. As the filter collects dust, hair, and other airborne debris, it will slowly start to clog up so that less air can be drawn through it. This restricted airflow will also hamper the performance of your AC and heating, leading to the system cooling or heating more slowly while using more energy and costing more to operate.
The restricted airflow also puts extra strain on the entire HVAC system, causing the various components to suffer greater wear and tear. If you aren’t changing the air filter regularly, your system will be more prone to breaking down and more likely to require costly repairs. Your HVAC units will also typically have a shortened life span if you don’t replace the air filter routinely.
How to Tell When You Need to Change Your Air Filter
The easiest way to ensure you’re changing your air filter often enough is to make a note on your calendar and check the condition of the filter at least once a month. Checking the filter regularly can also help to slightly extend its life span as you can gently remove dust and debris off of its face so that it works more effectively and doesn’t clog up as quickly. That said, you should always change the filter if it has a thick layer of dust and debris or starts looking dark.
Holding the filter up to a light source can also help you determine if it needs to be changed. If the filter is still in good condition and not clogged, you should be able to easily see the light through it. If you can’t see through the filter when holding it up to a light, it’s time to change it.
Monitoring how effectively your HVAC system is cooling or heating and how much air there is blowing out of your vents can also help in determining when the air filter needs to be changed. Any time your HVAC system isn’t working as effectively as it should, you ought to put in a new filter. This will help to improve its performance. If you ever notice that there is much less air coming out of your vents, you can be fairly certain that the filter needs to be replaced. The reduced airflow is usually a sure sign that the filter is starting to clog up.
Our team of experts at Ultimate Homes & Cooling is your number one choice for your home comfort needs in Cape Coral. We offer professional air conditioning and heating services, and our certified technicians can handle all your HVAC maintenance, installation, and repair requirements. Contact us today if you have any questions or you wish to schedule a service call.