The air filter in your HVAC system is one of the most important, yet overlooked, part of it. Just like everything else in the system, you need to be paying attention to it and changing it out when needed. How often do you really need to change it out though? Let's have a look.
What The Air Filter Does
It's important to understand what your air filter does, so you can see just why it's so important to change it. When air is drawn into your home to cool or heat it, it'll first be drawn through the filter.
The filter is there to capture any impurities that may be in the air. Because they're caught on the filter, they won't make their way into your air ducts and home itself. That keeps the air cleaner, while still keeping everything a comfortable temperature.
The air filter will also protect the HVAC system as a whole, too. Without it, dust would get into the workings of the system, and start to damage it. That leads to earlier machinery failures, and more expensive repairs for you.
When you have a good air filter in place, you will see that there's less dust on surfaces, as it's not collecting in the ducts and getting blown around. There's lots of other benefits that you need to be aware of too, when you keep the filter clean.
Keeping Pollutants Out Of Your Home
The air outside of your home can be full of all kinds of pollutants, and that's something that you want to keep out as much as possible. There are several ways of doing this, such as keeping the windows and doors closed, using an air purifier, and of course changing out your air filter.
Changing the air filter is important, as over time it'll get clogged and you'll see the impurities make their way into your home as the filter can't stop them. That can be bad news for you and your family, as there are several chemicals and particles in the air that can cause illness and aggravate allergies.
These include things like vehicle pollutants, which can be responsible for illnesses such as cancer, and respiratory issues. Then there's things like cigarette smoke, especially if people tend to smoke close to your home. There are lots more particles that can come into your home through the HVAC, and you'll want the filter to stop them in their tracks.
How Often Should You Change The Filter?
So the question is, as the air filter is so important, how often should you change them? The answer is dependent on you and your own needs, so let's consider them.
In the average home, a filter should be changed out every 90 days. That will depend on where you live, of course. If you live somewhere with a dry and dusty climate, or in a city where there's a lot of traffic and therefore pollution, then you'll need to change it sooner.
Also, it depends on who's living in the home. If you have pets, you'll need to change the filter every 60 days, as their fur and dander will clog up filters quicker. If you have people with allergies or illnesses in the home, again, you will want to up that change out time to every 20 – 45 days. However, if it's a vacation home, you may not need to change the filter for up to a year, depending on how often you use it.
As you can see, the speed at which you need to change the filter out will very much depend on you, where you live, and who lives with you. It's always best to follow the guidelines, in order to protect the health of everyone in your family.
Using An Air Purifier
As well as your HVAC system, you'll want to consider using an air purifier to take care of the air in your home too. No matter how good the air filter is, there will always be some pollutants that make their way in over time. An air purifier will help tackle these, and keep the air cleaner. They will also ensure that the HVAC stays in better condition for longer, as there will be less particles in the air in your home.
How does an air purifier work? These work in a similar way to your HVAC system, as they draw air in through one side, and then pass it through filters. These trap particles and treat the air, and then push out cleaned air on the other side.
There are several different filters that you should expect to find in an air purifier, including:
HEPA filter: This is the main filter that you'll want to find in an air purifier. There are different grades of filter, but a HEPA one is best as the mesh is fine enough to capture the smallest particles. That will stop most pollutants in their tracks.
Activated charcoal filter: You'll see activated charcoal being used for a lot of different things right now, and they're highly useful in an air purifier. They're great at absorbing gases and scents, and that's perfect if you have pets, or just want to tackle every day household scents.
UV filter: This is something you'll want in your air purifier, especially in this day and age. Certain UV lights are good at killing off viruses and bacteria, things that can cause illness. Some filters will have a UV chamber in them, where the air is subjected to UV-C light and microbes killed off, before the air is put back into your home.
When you use an air purifier as well as changing out your HVAC filter regularly, you'll see that you'll be able to take better care of your home and everyone living in it.
Changing the HVAC filter on a regular basis is more important than you'd think. When the filter is clean, it can tackle all the pollutants of daily life. Change it out regularly, and you'll ensure that the air is clean and clear.