One of the questions that we hear on a consistent basis is about how often homeowners should change the air filter to their heating and air conditioning systems. Whether it’s a forgotten item on a “honey-do” list or simply a money-saving tactic, it seems that everyone waits longer than they should.
Continuing to use an air filter that should have been replaced can bring about a variety of problems. Dirty filters can restrict air flow and force your home’s HVAC system to work harder, resulting in additional wear and tear. This can necessitate a repair and drastically reduce the lifespan of the system.
According to Energy.gov, replacing a dirty air filter can reduce the energy an HVAC system needs to run by up to 10 percent. This can be an effective way to save money each month and ensure that the system lasts as long as possible.
For those of us who suffer from allergies, it is vital to have a clean air filter. Dirty air filters will be unable to trap airborne allergens and this can have a negative impact on indoor air quality. A clean filter will be able to filter more of the allergens and increase the amount of air flowing through the system, thus improving indoor air quality.
Use the Sight Test for Filter Changes
There are so many factors that go into determining when an air filter should be changed. Everyone who has shopped for an air filter knows there are many different models available, and that each one seems to have a different life span.
Filters vary based on materials and form (pleated versus panel), thickness and more. This has a direct influence on the recommended time frame that a filter should be used to achieve maximum effectiveness. In general, the cheaper models have to be replaced more often. The better quality filters perform better and last longer, so the costs average out.
What’s important to note is that even though a manufacturer may not recommend changing a filter for six months, that doesn’t mean it will last that long. Many variables within a home can determine when a filter should be changed. As an example, a homeowner with more than two pets will definitely want to consider changing the air filter more often than the manufacturer’s recommended time frame, especially in the summer months!
The best way to know how often to change a filter is to simply check it out. If it looks dirty, then it should be changed. Doing so will optimize HVAC system performance and improve air quality.
At O’Brien Service Company, we are happy to answer any questions you have about air filters or our services. We offer quality air filters as well as installation services for both residential and commercial properties. Because the day-to-day operations of a business can have a huge impact on air quality and HVAC-system performance, we’ve designed our services so they can be customized to meet specific needs.
O’Brien Service Company is a certified Trane Comfort Specialist and works on both residential and commercial systems. The company’s highly trained and versatile technicians can expertly handle complex repairs and installations, and provide advice on the benefits of regular maintenance. To arrange a free at-home consultation, call (910) 799-6611, or visit the company’s website at www.obrienservice.com.