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The Importance of Changing Your HVAC Filter

Do you want to increase the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems? What about make it more effective at removing allergens and other microbes from the air? Make both your heater and air conditioner run warmer and colder, respectively? Sounds like a lot of work, right? Not at all! You can significantly improve all of these functions of your home’s HVAC system simply by replacing the filter.

Every system has a filter in it that is designed to remove dust and dirt as it enters your system from inside your home. Over time, these filters become clogged with dirt, dust, pollen, and other contaminants which restrict the flow of air through it. This has a number of consequences, including reduced air flow and system effectiveness, more dust and pollen in the air (as more starts to seep through the filter itself), and a higher electric bill because of your system working harder. Therefore, you should periodically replace your filter to keep your system working at maximum effectiveness and efficiency.

The Lowdown on Dirt

As you move around your home, you unsettle and kick up dust from your carpets, drapes, and furniture. Eventually this dust swirls in to your HVAC system where it becomes trapped in your air filter. Over time, the buildup of this dust in the filter can lead to numerous issues, including:

  • Reduced air low
  • Up to 15% higher operating costs
  • Expensive duct cleaning services
  • Reduced system efficiency

Changing Your Filter

Blazer Heating and Air Conditioning recommends that you check your HVAC filter every month and replace it as needed. It’s a small, easy, and inexpensive way to ensure your system stays at peak efficiency. You can find HVAC system filters at most home improvement stores.

But which replacement filter should you choose? There are many different types of filters with different efficiency ratings. The first thing you should look at is the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. This system essentially tests each filter for effectiveness at removing contaminants from the air—the better the rating, the cleaner your air will be. We generally advise choosing a filter with a MERV rating of six to eight, however, you don’t want to choose a filter that your system cannot handle. Higher MERV ratings restrict air flow, and unless your HVAC system can handle it, this restricted air flow could damage it. Think of it like putting a cloth over a vacuum: a thinner cloth allows more air through, but won’t grab as much dust. A thicker cloth will grab more dust, but will require a lot more force to pull the air through.

Here are a few tips for changing your filter yourself:

  • Turn your system off while you change your filter. You don’t want to risk it accidentally turning on and sucking dirt and dust into the system without a filter to remove it. Contaminants that get in this way can get stuck on your condenser coils or in your duct systems, making them difficult to clean.
  • Make sure you install your filter the right way. Most filters will have arrows or guides to indicate the direction of air flow.
  • Use the opportunity of changing your filter to vacuum out any dirt or dust that may have accumulated near the filter. This will help your filter last longer.
  • You should change your filter at least twice per year: once in the spring before turning on your air conditioner for the first time, and again in the fall before firing up your furnace or heater.

If you need a heating or air conditioning repair, call the experts at Blazer Heating and Air Conditioning today! Since opening our doors to the community in 1989, we have provided knowledgeable and friendly services to thousands of customers. All our technicians are highly-trained and NATE-certified to provide you with the latest energy-efficient technology, including geothermal heat pump applications. We also offer a 100% guarantee on our work to give you the confidence that the job will be done right.

Call Blazer Heating and Air Conditioning now to schedule a service! Dial (804) 277-2458 today!