maintenance

The Importance of Clean Air Filters

Published on: October 4, 2013

The seasons in the southeastern United States can run from one extreme to the next.  Summer temperatures can easily rise to over 100 degrees, while winter months can even drop slightly below zero. With these extremes outside, there are also many air quality factors that can make your home or business quite unpleasant such as:

  • Pollen
  • Dust and dirt
  • Pets
  • Humidity
  • Mold and mildew

It is no wonder that air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems are almost mandatory in the southeast. A properly operating HVAC system will keep your home or business comfortable while also keeping unwanted allergens or pollutants at bay. Every HVAC system, including heat pumps, requires properly installed and clean air filters in order to function efficiently.

Importance of Air Conditioning Filters

In the south there are specific issues that can impair the performance of filters.  These factors include the levels of humidity outside and inside the home, airborne pollutants like mold or pollen, and even extremes in temperatures where the filter is installed.  Another factor can be the insulation of the home for windows, doors, attics and other areas where air can enter or escape. 

A clean air filter will improve the flow of air throughout your ventilation system and help clean air circulate throughout your home or business. Pollutants such as dust, dirt, pet dander and other allergens can be trapped by your clean air filter. After a period of time, however, the trapped particles will accumulate to the point that the filter will no longer function well. When this happens your filter will need to be replaced or cleaned.

An increase in the use of your HVAC system will make your clean air filter need replacing more often as it traps unwanted particles. Consider carefully how often your HVAC system is running and how that could impact your air filter’s performance. If the system is on continuously every day, your air filter should be checked and cleaned much more often than if the HVAC system is only used on weekends, for example.

Even in the fall and winter months the southern climate can have an effect on your air filter.  What was a clean filter can become filled with fall mold, mildew, pollen and even pieces of falling leaves. As your house requires more heat in the winter months it is common for the same air to continuously circulate inside your home, which can cause a buildup of interior air particulates. These particulates can make a clean air filter quite dirty in a very short period of time.

Saving Money and Staying Healthy

Did you realize that a dirty air filter can actually increase your energy costs?  It can also put unnecessary strain on your HVAC system which could cause premature breakdowns.

To make sure you maintain a clean air filter consider these ideas:

Assess your air filter needs – Make sure you know the correct size air filter for your particular HVAC unit. For homes that have multiple units, the size may vary, so it’s important to check each filter. Then look at your overall home environment: air pollutants that may be circulating including pets, dust or dirt; and how often people open or shut doors and windows. The more contributing factors, the more frequently you need to change your air filter.

Set a schedule – Look at your schedule and determine the appropriate times to change your filter. This could be a monthly task, or it may only need to be done a couple of times a year, depending on the type of filter you use. Regardless, you should set a schedule and do your best to stick with it.

Determine the type of air filter that you prefer – There are several types of air filters that vary in their ability to trap particles. No filter will trap everything, but depending on your sensitivity consider using a filter that will meet or exceed your specific needs. Also consider buying filters in bulk so you will always have one readily available.

Changing an air filter is not difficult, but if there are questions or concerns you can always contact a reputable HVAC maintenance professional to help or provide advice.

For more information on maintaining clean air filters for a healthy HVAC system, contact a professional contractor at AC Southeast who can recommend the right air filter for your needs.