If you own a home, you should know how important it is to regularly check
and replace the air filter in your heating and air conditioning system.
While you may have a “schedule” for doing so, what you may
not realize is that you might actually have to change your filter sooner
than your schedule dictates. Why is this? What’s causing your filter
to get dirty so quickly? And even worse, is this indicative of a problem
with my heater or air conditioner? Our latest blog has some answers to
both of these questions.
Why So Dirty?
So what’s causing your air filter to get so dirty so quickly? The
most common reason is an increased load of contaminants in the air in
your home. Here are just a few of the most frequently-seen filter-clogging
particles you’ll find floating in the air in your home:
Pet hair: cats and dogs both shed hair (yes, even hypo-allergenic breeds will leave
hair lying around sometimes) and that hair can find its way into your
air filter on the whims of air currents in your home. This problem grows
exponentially with the number of pets you have.
Constantly-running fan: When the fan is set to “auto,” it only turns on when your system
is actively running. When it’s set to “on,” the fan
could be running even when your system is not actively heating or cooling
your home. A fan that is running is pulling air through your filter, which
means your filter will continually pull debris from the air, and get dirty quicker.
Dusty conditions: homes that have to deal with a high level of dust, such as those living
near a construction project or in a high-wind area, will no doubt see
their filters get dirty faster than those in lower-wind areas. Also, the
more you clean your home from dust, the less often that dust will find
its way into your filter.
Do I Have the Right Filter?
There’s another factor that most people don’t think about when
it comes to their filter: am I using the right one? Each filter is given
a MERV rating, which essentially tells you how much in terms of dust and
contaminants it removes from the air and likewise how much air it actually
allows through. Higher MERV ratings mean better filtration, but that also
means they fill up faster. Another downside to these filters is that they
actually place more strain on your fan and blower motors because they
can’t pull the air they need through the filter at a rate that allows
them to work properly.
Those who suffer from severe and sensitive allergies may want to consider
using one of these higher MERV-rated filters, but odds are you don’t
need a filter that would be rated for use in a hospital clean room. Not
only will you be damaging your system, but you’ll probably be wasting
money on these filters because of how much they cost. Instead, make sure
you’re using a filter with the proper MERV rating and you’ll
have to deal with changing your filter less, plus you’ll probably
notice your system starts working better than it did before.
Does your air conditioner or heater need a tune-up service? A Palm Beach
County heating and air conditioning expert can help!
Call Phoenix Air Conditioning, LLC today to schedule your annual maintenance appointment!