How Much Do You Know About Your HVAC System’s Air Filter?

The air filter in your HVAC system may seem like a small part, but it has implications in every system of your home. Even though it’s a simple and cheap piece of your system, it affects the efficiency of your system, the effectiveness, indoor air quality and can even cause breakdowns if not replaced regularly.

When and How to Change Air FiltersHow Much Do You Know About Your HVAC System's Air Filter?

Depending on the furnace model you have, the filters you use and other factors in your home, you should replace your air filter at least every three months. You should inspect it monthly to see if it is excessively dirty or damp and needs to be replaced.

Things like pets, large families, nearby constructions and indoor smoke will all shorten the life of a filter. In some homes you may have to replace it monthly.

Your furnace’s owners manual should have information on the right type of filter. If you buy the wrong one, it will not function well and will cause many of the same problems. Your HVAC installer should have shown you where the filter was located but if he didn’t, it’s usually pretty simple to find.

The Consequences of Dirty Filters

The most immediate and apparent consequence of a dirty filter is a reduction in indoor air quality. Picture the filter as a mesh; if the mesh traps various microorganisms, there is less room for air to pass through and to catch more particles. This means that more harmful particles will pass through and into your airstream.

Another result of particle buildup is that the pressure will increase on the upstream side of the filter. If the pressure increases too much in order to try to get air through the filter, it could lead to failure and an expensive repair. Even if it doesn’t get this bad, the airflow can be reduced, which will make your furnace work harder and less efficiently.

Remember that replacing your air filter is only one part of HVAC maintenance. If you need help or advice about maintaining your Long Island home, contact Cool Power LLC.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hauppauge, New York and the Long Island area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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