While there are many reasons to freshen your HVAC air filter regularly – including lowering your utility bills and lessening the strain on HVAC equipment – one primary reason is to enjoy cleaner indoor air.
How Do Fresh Filters Clean the Air?
When filters become clogged with dust, dirt and other pollutants, this debris eventually starts making its way through the filter’s fine mesh. Regularly freshening up the filter (with a good cleaning or by replacing it) allows it to continue doing its job. A fresh filter is also less likely to harbor mold and mildew.
When to Freshen the Air Filter
In general, you should check the filter monthly and change or clean it when it appears dirty. You shouldn’t wait longer than three months to change or clean the filter. For many homes, a new filter every three months is just right. You might need to freshen yours more often if any of these situations apply:
- You own a cat or dog.
- Someone in your home smokes or has severe allergies.
- Your climate is dusty and you regularly open the windows.
How to Change or Clean the Air Filter
Changing a disposable filter is easy:
- Turn off the heating or cooling system.
- Find the service panel, which may be in a return air vent or inside the furnace, and remove the cover.
- Remove the old filter and note the size. Stock up on new ones at your local hardware store or home center.
- Slide a new filter in place. Make sure you insert it the right way based on the arrows on the filter.
- Replace the panel and you’re all set.
Cleaning a reusable filter is just as easy:
- Turn off the heating or cooling system and find the service panel. Remove the filter.
- Vacuum it to remove the largest pieces of dust.
- Hose down the filter to remove smaller particles from the screen. Allow the filter to dry completely.
- Reinstall it in the housing and replace the panel.
Choosing an Air Filter
Along with changing the filter regularly, you also need to find the right type of filter for your home. Even the lease efficient filters are designed to trap large particles without a problem, including:
- Dust mite allergens
- Animal dander
- Some types of mold spores
Let Aire Serv be your go-to expert when it comes to regular maintenance and answering your heating and air conditioning questions. Sign up for Aire Serv’s Filter Change reminder. For more help changing or choosing a new filter, please contact Aire Serv®.