Air filter replacement
Here’s How Often To Replace Air Filters In Your Home
Did you know most filters should be changed every 30-90 days per manufacture recommendation? It may be challenging to know the right time to replace the air filters in an hvac system but just remember its about indoor air quality and protecting your system.
You can already hear it – your HVAC tech is lecturing you about making sure you change your air filter How many days was that again? 30? 90, 6 months? – The general consensus is that you should be replacing the air filter in your home every 3 months, or 90 days. But what happens if you let that time lapse a little bit? Before we talk about when you should change your air filter – let’s begin with the WHY.
What is an Air Filter & How Does it Work?
Air filters are typically made from spun fiberglass (the same thing that makes up your attic insulation) or pleated paper & framed with cardboard for stability and rigidity. They are inserted into a specific place within your return air duct (usually a large drop down vent in your hallway or other place in your home). These air filters act as barriers to prevent contaminants from entering your HVAC system or circulating within the air. Most filters are designed to block out dust, dirt, pet hair, lint, mold, bacteria, and more. Air filters typically have a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) that determines the type and size of pollutants the filter will work against
What is a MERV Rating?
As air moves through a building’s HVAC system, air filters trap and collect large and small particles such as dust, allergens and microorganisms. According to The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers this filtration helps provide healthier indoor air quality. A filter’s MERV number indicates how it’s rated to remove these particles. But what is MERV rating, exactly?
An air filter’s minium efficiency reporting values (MERV) rating measures how effectively the filter stops dust and other contaminants from passing through the filter and into the air stream. Filters with higher MERV ratings trap small particles more effectively than filters with lower MERV ratings. In general, filters with a rating of MERV 16 or below are considered to be HVAC-system-grade filters for residential, commercial and general hospital use. MERV 17 through MERV 20 filters are typically used in surgical operating rooms, clean rooms and other contexts that require absolute cleanliness. Now don’t run out and buy the highest MERV filter you can as not all systems can perform with them. Most residential systems can’t have anything higher than 13 unless it was designed for that thicker media. When selecting the right filter for your application, higher is not always better. Using an air filter with a MERV rating higher than what your furnace or air conditioner manufacturer recommends can actually impair its performance. The smaller pores in more highly rated air filters create resistance to air flow, and if the filter is used in an HVAC system that is not designed to handle this resistance, it can lower the system’s efficiency, decrease indoor air quality, and put strain on the system’s fan.
How Often Do I Need to Change Out My Air Filter?
Generally, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies recommend every 30-90 days, or 3 months. That can change based on where your home is located (ex. dusty, dry climates), if you have any pets, and the age of your system and equipment. If you have pets in the home, you should consider changing your filter every 60 days, or 2 months, and for homes with multiple pets or people with allergies or respiratory conditions, we recommend changing your filter every 20-45 days. Vacation homes or vacant homes that don’t see much use can typically wait to change out filters every 9-12 months. The general consensus is, the more you use your home, the more you need to change your air filter.
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