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Four Things You Should Never Do with Your HVAC Filter

HVAC filters are a vital part of maintaining the health and integrity of both your system and yourself. These filters are the only thing that stands between you and potentially dangerous dust and air borne pollutants that can damage your HVAC system or make you sick. If you are someone who regularly changes out your filter, then well done (air high five)!  

However, there are people who believe that simply removing a filter and shaking it out or using a vacuum on it will suffice when it comes to cleaning. Such assumptions are incorrect. Shaking out or even vacuuming your filter will not remove all of the harmful particles trapped in the filter. There will always be particles left behind that don’t get removed this way. The only way to ensure a pollutant-free filter is to replace it on a regular basis. In this article we’ll review some important information regarding your filter, including four things you should never do. 

Use the Wrong Type of Filter 

There are many different types and sizes of HVAC filters available. Making sure you get the exact type of filter needed for your system is crucial to maintaining good indoor air quality. You can do this by reading and understanding the specifications for each type of filter. Of course, you’ll need to know which type of filter works with your system, including the size required. If you need help figuring out the right type and size for your system, consult with your local HVAC professional.  

If you or someone in your household have a pollen and/or dust allergy, or are allergic to pet hair, you might need a heavy-duty filter to keep everyone breathing easy (think Hepa filter). You can also purchase a filter that is specifically designed to keep harmful allergens from cycling through your air vents and into your lungs. For more information about these types of filters, visit the links below:  

What Type of HVAC Filter Should I Use? (aireserv.com) 

MERV | What is MERV Rating and What Does MERV Mean? (aireserv.com) 

Buy Only One Filter at a Time 

Another thing that you should never do is buy only one HVAC filter at a time. While this may seem like the cheapest option, when it comes to HVAC filters, buying in bulk will usually save you money in the long run. It’s also much more convenient to have extra filters on hand when you need one, rather than make a special trip to the store just to purchase an HVAC filter. Buying in bulk will ensure you always have a replacement filter when needed. Check out the link below for more tips about how to purchase filters.  

Air Filter Replacements | Aire Serv 

Forget the Change-Out Date of Your Filter 

With so many people living busy lives, it’s easy to forget something like changing out an HVAC filter out on a regular basis. Changing your filter probably isn’t high on your priority list of things to do, so forgetting the exact day it needs to be changed is a common mistake many people make. However, replacing your filter sporadically or only when you think about it could lead to replacing filters sooner than needed. It can result in them being less effective due to a buildup of dust and other pollutants. Either scenario can lead to spending more on filters than you have to, or additional maintenance and repair costs. 

A few ways to keep your filter cost down is to write down (on the outside of your filter) the date you changed out the filter. This does require checking the filter and date of replacement every so often. Another option that might work even better is to set a reminder and alarm on your phone that prompts you when the filter needs replacing. This is an option used by many HVAC professionals, and it’s one of the best ways to ensure your filter is replaced in a timely manner. Check the link below for more ideas about filter replacements. 

Best Ways to Remember to Change Your Air Filter (aireserv.com) 

Use a Poor Fitting Filter 

Perhaps the most important thing to do when replacing your filter is to choose one that is sized perfectly for your system. There are dozens of different filter sizes, and many of them are very similar. This makes it all too easy to grab one at the store that is not compatible with your system, either because it is a little too big or too small. It’s best to write down the exact measurements of your filter (because they all look like the right size when you're in the store), or better yet, enter the size as a memo in your phone.  

Using a filter that is not the exact size required for your system won’t get the job done when it comes to improving air quality. If your filter is too big, it won’t fit into its designated area. You could also damage it when trying to make it fit or when you pull it out. If a filter is too small, it won’t block all of the particles and allergens that are cycling through your HVAC system. Either one of these situations will compromise the integrity of the filter and make it less effective at protecting you and your family.  

Related Topic: The Best AC Filters for People with Allergies 

Additional Air Conditioner Maintenance 

While replacing your filter is an important part of maintaining good indoor air quality while  protecting you, your family and your system, it’s only part of good HVAC care and maintenance. To make sure your system is operating effectively and efficiently, call the local HVAC professionals at AirServe. We have the skills, knowledge and experience to ensure your HVAC system is running smoothly. To make sure your system is ready for the season, schedule a service visit that includes:  

  • Air conditioner recharge 

  • Brush and coil cleaning 

  • Cleaning up brush and debris around the unit 

  • Checking all electrical connections 

  • Checking your condensate drains 

Call to schedule your appointment today so you have peace of mind in knowing your HVAC system is in top shape.