Do I Really Have To Change My Air Filter Often?

ThinkstockPhotos-178384618Regular HVAC maintenance is important in ensuring efficient operation and prolonging the unit’s life. Proper maintenance could also keep the house within a reasonable temperature change. It could also help in saving money, especially in the long-term.

Changing the Air Filter

The air filter keeps debris and pollutants out of the equipment, thus ensuring efficient and proper operation. A clogged or dirty filter restricts air flow, which forces the unit to work harder in achieving the set heating goals. This results in excessive energy consumption and high utility bills.

How Often?

The frequency depends on the unit’s location, filter type, season and how often the system is used. For residential HVAC units, the filters need to be checked once every 3 months. If higher efficiency filters are being used, then the life could range between 6-12 months.

Air filters in restaurants, strip malls and retail chains need to be changed every 4-8 weeks, depending on the type and customer traffic. For industrial facilities, filters need to be changed weekly. Environmental factors such as presence of tobacco smoke, pet hair and heavy traffic could however necessitate more frequent changes.

Changing the Filter

One needs to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that the proper procedure is followed when changing the filter. Before purchasing, one should read the manual to identify the right size and number. Most filter types can be found at local hardware and department outlets.

The unit needs to be turned off completely before trying to change the filter. This is done for safety reasons. If it’s hard to figure out how to switch off the equipment, one can turn off the breaker. After switching the unit off, the old filter now needs to be removed.

Typically, the filter will be located on the right side of the equipment. It should also be easy to pull out of place in the furnace. Though rare, some filters can be located inside the indoor air vents. For such cases, professional help would be required to change the filter.

The new filter can be inserted by simply sliding it into place. Arrows on the unit should help in determining which side faces outside. Changing the HVAC filter should be a simple process. If one is unsure however, they could always contact a professional for help. Follow us for more articles that will keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently.


Download Our Free HVAC Inspection Checklist
Enter Email To Access Free Checklist