As any homeowner or even longtime renter is likely already aware, filters are some of the most important components in your HVAC system. Your filter traps contaminants and pollutants before they make it into your breathing air, limiting their presence while also maintaining quality air flow within your system -- but they will only perform this job effectively if they are changed or cleaned at the proper intervals.
At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric, while many of our services are in larger areas like furnace installation or repair, we're happy to help with basic maintenance areas for your day-to-day HVAC needs -- including filters. One of the most common questions we're asked by our clients in this area: How often do I need to change or clean my air filters? Here's a general primer on this and a few related concepts to help steer you in the right direction.
For those who are unaware, HVAC air filters are a vital part of your system for a number of reasons. First, they keep dust and dirt from being put into the air you breathe by trapping it within the filter itself -- while some particles may pass through this material, the main purpose is to prevent these contaminants from reaching your lungs or having an adverse effect on anyone in the area, including family members or pets.
In addition to this, filters also play a crucial role in the functionality of your system. When a filter becomes dirty or clogged, it can hamper or even damage the quality of air flow throughout your compartment -- making it harder for hot or cold air to reach desired locations. This is why it's important to change or clean the filter frequently, which we'll dig into further below.
There are a few factors that will help answer this question, including your geographic location, the type of filter you have installed in your system, and the number of people using or occupying the home. These factors must also be considered alongside one another.
Generally speaking, average cleaning or changing frequency for most standard filters is about once a month. However, you may need to do this as often as once every two weeks or as infrequently as once a year depending on your situation. The best way to determine what's right for you is to combine basic manufacturer information with your own basic inspection -- is your filter clearly becoming dirty and clogged after less than a month? Or on the flip side, has your air usage been limited, and is your filter still virtually spotless despite being in place for over a month? These and similar factors will impact how often they're changed or cleaned.
One general tip here, though: Be aggressive about changing or cleaning filters. If you're unsure whether a filter needs a change-out, just go ahead and do it -- filters aren't that expensive in the long run, and the benefits your system will see are worth making the change a few days early in some cases.
Now, in other cases, there will be noticeable signs throughout your home and HVAC system that your filters have clogged up and require replacement (or cleaning, for multi-use models). These include:
As you can see, there are a number of factors to be aware of when it comes to your HVAC filters. For more on this, or to learn about any of our HVAC or plumbing services throughout Utah, speak to the staff at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric today.