On HVAC Filters and How Often They Should Be Changed
There are several components that play a major role in daily operations of virtually every HVAC system out there, and one of the single most important and well-known is your filter. Filters are responsible for removing contaminants and other risks from your air while also maintaining proper airflow throughout the system, and one factor that must be maintained for them here is a regular changing or cleaning approach for filters.
At Accurate Air, we’re proud to offer a variety of services that touch on filters for Tempe and Scottsdale clients, from heating and air conditioner solutions to air quality upgrades that include duct cleaning and more. Here are some basics on how HVAC filters work, some important related information, and details on how often they typically need to be changed or cleaned to ensure proper operations at all times.
Basics on How HVAC Filters Work
For those who are just learning about how HVAC operation works, it’s important to understand the basics of how filters work. In short, these are designed to capture and remove dust, dirt, pollen and other particles from the air that passes through your system.
They do this by using a mesh material, typically made of fiberglass or some other synthetic material that’s designed to capture particles but also allow air to pass through. Filters are commonly found near the air handler inside your system, and they’re responsible for removing contaminants before they enter the actual return ductwork and circulate throughout your home.
Disposable Vs. Cleanable Filters
There are two primary types of air filters that you might use for your HVAC system: disposable and cleanable. Disposable filters are just what they sound like; they need to be replaced regularly after a certain period of time.
Cleanable filters, however, can be removed and washed with mild soap and water for reuse in some cases – though it’s important to check with an HVAC professional first before attempting any cleaning or maintenance on your own. It’s also important to note that these types of filters typically need to be changed more often than disposable ones, as dust and dirt can build up quickly over time.
One factor that will impact the overall discussion we’re having about filter changing/cleaning frequency (among other things) is the MERV rating of the filter in question. The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating is designed to let you know how well a filter can capture particles from 0.3 microns up to 10 microns in size, with lower numbers representing less efficiency and higher numbers indicating better efficiency.
The MERV scale ranges from 1 up to 20, with the very highest numbers here only being reserved for specialty industrial facilities. Most homeowners will use filters between MERV 4 and 8, with higher numbers typically being used only when very specific needs exist.
The frequency required for HVAC filter changes or cleanings can vary depending on the make and model of your system as well as the type of environment in which it’s located. Generally speaking, disposable filters should be changed every one to three months, while cleanable filters can last up to two years depending on conditions.
It’s important to also note that these numbers may differ based on the MERV rating of your filter; it’s always best to check with an HVAC professional before making any changes or modifications here.
Other factors that may influence the frequency of your filter changes/cleanings include any pets in the home, smoking indoors, and whether or not anyone in the household has allergies or chronic asthma.
Risks of Failing to Change or Clean HVAC Filters
If filters are not changed/cleaned regularly, this could have a significant impact on the overall operation of your HVAC system. Most immediately, dirty or clogged filters can lead to reduced air flow and efficiency levels that could increase energy bills significantly over time. In addition, failing to change or clean them may also cause more complications with indoor air quality, as dirt and other contaminants will be more likely to make their way into your home.
For this reason, it’s important to check and change/clean your filters regularly in order to ensure optimal performance from your HVAC system and minimize any risks you may be exposed to.
Overall, air filters are essential when it comes to maintaining the overall health and performance of your HVAC system. They’re responsible for removing contaminants from the air while also ensuring proper airflow, and it’s important to understand the types of filters available as well as the frequency required for cleaning or changing them. Remember to check with an HVAC professional if you need help determining just how often your filters should be changed or cleaned. Doing so can help keep your system running in top condition while also minimizing any risks you may encounter.
And at Accurate Air, we’re here to make sure that your Scottsdale or Tempe HVAC system is running as efficiently and effectively as possible – contact us today to learn more about any of our services or programs!