Over time, the use of air filters without maintenance can lead to several issues. For instance, clogged air filters can reduce the efficiency of your system and release air pollutants in your home’s atmosphere, reducing the air quality you breathe.
To ensure that your heating and cooling systems will function optimally, air filter maintenance is crucial.
In this article, we discuss what’s the function of an air filter and the signs that your air filter needs to be changed.
- 1 Function Of The Air Filter
- 2 Signs Your Air Filter Needs To Be Changed
- 2.1 1. Dirty Filter
- 2.2 2. Filter Is Damaged
- 2.3 3. Your Home Is More Dusty than Usual
- 2.4 4. Your Allergies Worsen
- 2.5 5. Increased Electricity Bill
- 2.6 6. Cooling And Heating Takes More Time Than Usual
- 2.7 7. Your Heating and Cooling Unit Is Getting Overheated
- 2.8 8. Your Unit Doesn’t Pass The White Sheet Test
- 3 Benefits of Changing Your Air Filter Periodically
- 4 When Should You Change The Air Filter?
- 5 Conclusion
Function Of The Air Filter
The main function of air filters is to clean the air that’s circulating in the system. Air filters clean the air by trapping air contaminants, like pollen, mold, pet hair, and dust. Due to this, the filters get dirty over time, leading to restricted airflow and increasing the load on your heating and cooling system.
If your air filters stop functioning optimally, it’s time to change them. If you’re looking for good quality air filters in various sizes, check https://filterking.com/air-filter-sizes.
Cleaning or changing your filters regularly will ensure that your cooling and heating systems function on optimal efficiency and use lesser energy. Also, regularly changing your filter will ensure that your systems work efficiently for a longer time.
Signs Your Air Filter Needs To Be Changed
Below are some key signs that your air filter needs to be changed:
1. Dirty Filter
The first step to maintain your filter is to check if it’s dirty. Start by doing a visual check to see if your filter has accumulated dust on it.
When the air ducts get clogged with dirt, they often release dust and contaminants through the vent. Compare the vent to the surface adjacent to it. If the vent looks dusty, that’s a sign your filter needs changing.
As a general rule, replacing furnace filters and pleated air filters must be done every 90 days. The longer the air filter is in place, the more dust, dirt, allergens, and other contaminants are trapped, which can clog the filter and decrease its efficiency.
You may need to replace your air filter more frequently than recommended if you have the following circumstances:
- A Family Member Has Allergy Or Asthma: If you have an asthmatic family member or someone who has an allergy in the home, you need to replace your filter every six weeks. This way, you can keep your home’s best indoor air quality.
- You Have Pets At Home: Odor can easily build up if you have a dog or cat at home. Shedding becomes worst when seasons change, so replacing the air filter every two months is highly recommended or in-between seasons.
- You Have Young Kids At Home: Young children need the best indoor air quality since they still have immature body organs, like the lungs. During the childhood stage, allergies start to occur, so replacing the filters every two to three months is advised.
2. Filter Is Damaged
While doing a visual inspection, make sure to check the filter for any holes or other wear and tear.
If there are holes in your filter or it’s damaged in any other way, it’s time to replace your air filter immediately.
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3. Your Home Is More Dusty than Usual
When your air filters are clogged, they’re unable to perform optimally. This often leads to dusty surfaces, dust-covered furniture, and dust on walls.
Since the air filters aren’t able to filter the air in your home, it may have air pollutants, like pollen and dust, that makes your home dustier than usual, which also reduces the air quality you breathe.
4. Your Allergies Worsen
If you notice that you or your family members are suffering from any symptoms of allergy, this could be a sign that your home’s air filters need replacement. This is especially crucial for people suffering from asthma.
Since damaged air filters allow dust and allergens into the house, this has a direct impact on your health since your will allergies worsen.
Thus, changing your air filter can have a beneficial effect on your health. New air filters will sieve out the air pollutants and ensure that you breathe fresh, good quality air.
5. Increased Electricity Bill
Are you surprised by your latest electricity bill?
Reliant Energy explains that although consumers can choose from a wide array of energy plans available, it is important to know the reasons why your electricity bill is soaring high.
Compare your electricity bills over the past few months. If there’s a spike in your bill, it could be due to your cooling or heating system.
As you may already know, heating and cooling systems take up a lot of energy and will considerably contribute to your electricity bill.
Dirty air filters tend to overload heating and cooling systems, making them work harder than usual. This leads to overconsumption of energy, thereby increasing your electricity bill considerably.
Here are some helpful tips on how to manage your electricity to avoid spikes in your bill:
- Invest In Inverter Appliances: With inverter technology, appliances such as inverter air conditioners can automatically sense temperature. When it senses that the room temperature has attained your desired cool setting, the thermostat will automatically adjust to save electricity and avoid several cycles.
- Regular Maintenance and Preventive Repair: With regular maintenance and preventive repair performed by a qualified HVAC professional, you prevent your appliances from over pushing themselves.
6. Cooling And Heating Takes More Time Than Usual
When the air filter in your system is dirty or damaged, the air conditioning system takes longer to circulate the air. As the system needs to work harder to pump out heated or cooled air, the efficiency of your system is reduced, making it longer to cool or heat your home. If this condition persists, it’s advisable to immediately change your air filter.
7. Your Heating and Cooling Unit Is Getting Overheated
To ensure that your heating and cooling systems are working optimally, check the back of the unit. If your system tends to overheat quickly and, at the same time, is expelling hot air, it’s a sign that your filter may be damaged.
8. Your Unit Doesn’t Pass The White Sheet Test
To know if your air filters need replacing, you can do a very simple test at home.
Take a blank sheet of paper and hang it a few inches away from the vent for an hour. The greyer it turns, the dirtier your filter.
This will give you a clear picture of how clean the air you’re breathing and whether it’s time to replace your air filter.
Benefits of Changing Your Air Filter Periodically
Here are a few benefits of changing your air filter in time:
- A clean filter allows the air to circulate freely through the system. Thus, your heating and cooling units will perform better.
- The air quality in your home is improved since a clean filter is able to effectively filter out air pollutants.
- Your heating and cooling systems perform effectively without consuming too much energy. This can considerably reduce your electricity bill.
When Should You Change The Air Filter?
How often you change your air filters will primarily depend on its use and the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Good quality filters may not require you to frequently change it when compared to filters with lower MERV ratings. If you have smokers or pets in your home, your filter may require more frequent changes than usual.
Make sure to check the manufacturer’s packaging to know the recommended duration to change the filter.
The air you breathe has a huge impact on your overall health. An unclean or damaged filter doesn’t only have an adverse effect on your well-being but it can also lead to increased electricity bills, reduced efficiency of the systems, and a dusty home.
If your vent has accumulated dust, it’s time to change it. A dirty filter with holes is often the cause of excessive dust and air pollutants in your home. This has an adverse effect on people with allergies and asthma.
If you’re facing problems like these, it’s time to change your air filter.