An efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system will keep your home comfortable without hitting your bank balance. But for it to work at its optimum, you need to keep your HVAC well maintained. And that means looking after its air filter. Here’s how to get the maximum use from your air filter, for an efficient, fresh and happy home.
How air filters work
A heating and air conditioning system works by sucking in air and passing it over coils to either heat or chill it, then blow this air back out through ducts into your home. These air filters are located where air is initially pulled into your HVAC and works to trap air-borne particles, including dust, bacteria and pollen so that they don’t clog the coils. Clogged coils are less efficient and so the air filter works to ensure the whole system runs at its optimum and reduces the risk of breakdown. They also prevent dust and other particles being blown around your home.
Know the type of filter you need
Your air filter needs to match your HVAC system and your own home needs. To get the maximum out of your system, you need to choose the air filter which has the right MERV – or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. MERV ratings indicate the size of particles the filter can remove and range from 1 to 16. The higher the MERV rating, the higher its ability to pick up small air-borne particles, with a rating of 5-8 sufficient for most homes, while people with allergies or pets will work well with a MERV rating of 9-12.
Change Your Air Filter Regularly
While air filters in your HVAC will save both energy and money, they need to be regularly changed for optimum impact. Routinely changing your air filters will also support your unit to run much more efficiently and give it a longer lifespan. As your air filter works hard to catch dust and particles, they can quickly get full of minute debris and clog up. A clogged air filter is not only less efficient in cleaning air but can also cause damage to your HVAC system and even pose a potential fire risk.
Why it’s important to change your air filter
Here are the main reasons why it is so important to regularly change your air filter for maximum use:
Changing the filter before it gets too dirty means it is working at its optimum and will protect and extend the working life of your HVAC system
An efficient air filter means your heating and air conditioning are also operating efficiently, helping to keep your energy costs down
As well as ensuring efficient working of your HVAC, your air filter is also key in creating a clean and healthy environment in your home.
So, now you know how important your air filter is to a home HVAC system and why it needs to be regularly changed for maximum use, you should schedule an air filter change as part of your routine home maintenance. Depending on the filter and the particle levels in your home, air filters typically need replacing after one to three months. It’s also worth writing the date you changed the air filter on the side of the new filter and diary the next change, so you don’t forget. And make sure you have a supply of air filters in stock, so you never run out.