You count on your HVAC system to keep you comfortable all year long. In order to deliver optimal performance on a consistent basis, your system requires routine maintenance. Falling behind on or neglecting the upkeep of your furnace and air conditioning can cause a number of problems. Each season, your system will require specific attention. Keep reading to learn about the importance of system maintenance and why you should change your air filter this spring.
About Air Filters
There are different types of household air filters. The type of filter you have will determine how often it should be changed. The least expensive kind is usually made of fiberglass. These filters require the most frequent changing. Polyester pleated filters can typically also go longer between replacements. Another benefit is that they are usually more effective at particle filtration. There are also washable filters, but these are less commonly used.
You can discover your filter’s efficiency by checking its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. This rating system provides information on how well a filter allows for adequate airflow and its ability to collect airborne particles. Ratings intended for residential and commercial use range between 1 and 16, starting with the least efficient and moving up toward the highest. Air filters for specialty environments, like hospital operating rooms, usually have a MERV rating between 17 and 20.
Factors That Affect How Often You Should Change Your Filter
In addition to the type you use, a variety of other factors can affect a filter’s performance and lifespan. Your lifestyle and location impact how frequently your filter will become clogged.
Habits like smoking, burning candles, and using a wood stove or fireplace release more pollutants into the air, requiring a filter to work harder. How often you cook, the types of food you prepare, and the method of preparation will also affect things. Some cleaning agents or personal care products can also have an impact. If you live near a construction zone or in an area with high outdoor pollutants, you may find that your filter increasingly loses efficacy.
If you own a furry pet, you’re probably well aware that there is a relatively high quantity of particles in your home’s air. Dander, mites, hair, and other matter associated with indoor animals can contribute to a need for more frequent air filter changes. This is especially true if you have multiple pets. In addition, the larger your home is, the more work your filter has to do. Keep this in mind as you consider your current filtration needs.
Benefits of Regular Air Filter Replacement
There are lots of reasons to change your HVAC system’s filter on a regular basis. As you can imagine, a clean filter improves the air quality in your home by collecting particles like pollen, dust, and smoke. If you go too long without a filter change, you will breathe in more contaminants. Taking such pollutants into your lungs and body can aggravate respiratory issues like asthma.
Even if you’re relatively healthy, poor indoor air quality can contribute to the development of conditions like respiratory problems, heart disease, or cancer. It can also cause eye, nose, and throat irritation in the present.
A filter clogged with debris will slow the flow of air throughout your HVAC system. This means your system will be less efficient. Your air conditioning will need to work even harder to do its job. Plus, you’ll likely see higher utility bills from the strain on your system.
Such extended effort also places excess wear and tear on the components, leading to breakdowns and potentially high repair bills. Your system will simply last longer when it’s well taken care of, and this includes replacing the filter as needed. Plus, a clean filter means a cleaner home. Surely, less frequent dusting is a reason in itself to stay on top of filter changes.
Why Change Your Filter in Spring
The general recommendation is to change your filter every three months. However, there are particular benefits to changing your home’s air filter in the spring.
Your furnace has worked hard this past winter. There’s a good chance the filter is clogged and dirty. As you’ve just read, a dirty filter can cause many complications. Having the filter changed and any necessary spring system maintenance will ensure you remain comfortable inside your home as temperatures rise and you start to use your air conditioning more often. You don’t want to find yourself sitting in a stuffy house when your AC should be providing plenty of cool air. It makes sense to address the issue now rather than risk future discomfort and frustration.
With spring’s warmer temperatures comes the growth and blossoming of plants and trees. Most folks love the beauty that this period brings, but they may not appreciate the pollen that comes with it. If you or anyone in your household is an allergy sufferer, it’s especially critical that you do all you can to promote healthy indoor air quality. If your system isn’t performing its best, it won’t be able to remove those seasonal allergens from the air you breathe. Taking action now can save you from dealing with itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose, and congestion.
Don’t forget that pleated air filters tend to perform better than basic fiberglass ones. There are also advanced high-efficiency particular air (HEPA) filters that can remove even more of the tiny particles floating through the air that other filters might miss. At the very least, it’s a good idea to look for a MERV rating between 8 and 13 during this pollen-heavy time of the year.
Keeping your doors and windows closed during the worst pollen days, along with regular dusting and vacuuming, can go far toward keeping allergy attacks at bay. Not to mention the fact that taking these steps also contributes to your air filter’s efficiency and effectiveness.
Schedule Your Spring HVAC Service
Changing your home’s air filter in the spring offers many seasonal advantages. A clean HVAC system filter is essential to your health and well-being. It can also save you money on utility bills and system repair costs. We also provide indoor air quality services like duct cleaning and sealing, as well as the installation of an in-duct air purifier. We can also install water heaters, ductless HVAC systems, and generators. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for any of your heating and cooling needs.
Our qualified HVAC professionals can do a visual inspection of your system to catch any potential issues. Tune-up services like coil cleaning, components lubrication, and tightening of connections can save you a great deal of trouble down the line. You want to spend time enjoying the lovely spring weather, not dealing with preventable air conditioning or air quality complications. Contact Specialty Heating & Cooling LLC in Tigard, OR for your spring HVAC service needs. We provide heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services.