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How & Why Should You Change Your HVAC Filter?

Do you want to increase the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems? What about making 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 and improve the air quality simply by replacing the filter.

What Can Happen if You Don’t Replace Your HVAC Filter?

Every HVAC 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.

Replacing your filter can be beneficial by doing the following:

  • Improve air flow and system effectiveness
  • Remove excess dust and pollen in the air
  • Lower your electric bill because your system is working efficiently

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

Which HVAC 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. You can find these filters at most home improvement stores.

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 airflow 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.

How Do You Replace the HVAC Filter?

We recommend 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.

Here are a few tips for changing your filter yourself:

  1. 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.
  2. Make sure you install your filter the right way. Most filters will have arrows or guides to indicate the direction of airflow. If you have a window unit, the filter can normally be found in the front of the unit, just below the vents. For central air conditioners, you'll want to check your user manual. The filter is generally located somewhere along the return duct.
  3. 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.
  4. You should change your filter at least twice per year. Do it 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.

100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

If you need your heater or air conditioner repaired, 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!

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