Air Filters: Change Them, Yes, but Know When and How

March 20, 2014

air filter dirty detailAir filters capture contaminants in the air toprotect HVAC equipment and household members from all kinds of nasty allergens, particles and biological contaminants. Read on to learn why, when and how to change your filter.

Why Change the Air Filter?

It may seem like an obvious question, but all too often clogged air filters cause an HVAC system malfunction that requires emergency repairs. Here are more reasons for changing your air filter regularly:

  • Clogged air filters increase energy use
  • Components of A/Cs, heat pumps, and furnaces endure more stress and wear
  • If a clogged filter is exposed to condensation, the filter becomes damp and mold growth may occur
  • Clogged filters create extreme pressure drops across the air handler/blower, which can quickly lead to system malfunction or failure
  • A clogged filter isn’t good for indoor air quality


When Should I Change the Filter, and How?

The frequency which air filters should be changed typically depends on the presence of indoor contaminants, outdoor contaminants and how often the HVAC systems operate.

  • Indoor factors: Generally speaking, a filter should be changed once every three months. However, the filter should be changed monthly in large households, households with pets, households with smokers and/or occupants with respiratory issues.
  • Outdoor factors: Is there construction nearby? Do you have a large garden? Is it pollen season? Keep in mind that the debris you see collecting on cars and outdoor objects may be collecting inside your home.
  • HVAC operation: During the cooling months, or any time the HVAC system is operating daily, the filter should be checked on a monthly basis. If you use the same type of filter each time, you’ll get a feel for when to change it based on HVAC usage.


Installation Tips

Measure the filter slot or old filter so that you select the correct size. Filters should fit snugly with no gaps around the perimeter. Filters with gaskets are excellent, and tend to be of higher quality.

Contact Keith Air Conditioning in Baldwin County for more info about filters and indoor air quality.