How To Remember When It Is Time To Change Your HVAC Filters

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018
changing hvac filters

Changing your HVAC filters can extend the life of your system, improve your health, and help deal with allergies, among other benefits. Doing this isn’t a cure-all for every ailment, but filters do fulfill an important and underappreciated role.

Indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air because it isn’t easily filtered in and out of the building. Your building is full of small particles that float around in the air, like dead skin cells, chemicals, dust, and odors. Filters help remove these and improve indoor air quality. But, if they become clogged, these components will not work right. The following can help you know why your HVAC filters clog and remember when to change them.

Why your filter is clogged

HVAC filters clog for the simple reason that they have caught up too many particles. But, certain issues can decrease their useful life faster than expected.

First, do you own pets? Pets are often considered to be family members, but they are also known to cause clogs in your filter and damage to your HVAC system. You can reduce the toll on your HVAC by brushing your pet and vacuuming every day.

You should consider your HVAC use and how it affects filters as well. Is it always set to “on” or “auto?” If it is set to “on” then it is always running, meaning it is sucking in outdoor air 24/7. If it is set to “auto,” then it is only cycling on when it needs to either heat or cool your building. Setting to “auto” can significantly increase its operational life.

Third, do you live in a place with extreme temperatures? If you do, then setting to “auto” may not matter because your HVAC system cycles on and off. In that case, you may need to replace your filter more often until the seasons calm down.

Fourth, if your filter is high-quality, it will have a high MERV rating. The MERV rating determines how many particulates your filter can capture. A higher MERV rating means it can capture more, which is good. But, that also means that it clogs more quickly. Keep in mind that cheaper filters will not catch smaller particles, which can also be hard on your HVAC system.

Remember, your home is probably dirty. Even if you clean everyday, the air can still be filled with particulates. If you’re near a construction site, do not clean, or have other risks of collecting more particles, your filter will have to work overtime to scrub the air.

What to do about dirty HVAC filters

First, make changing your HVAC filters a priority. Your filter is supposed to get clogged because it collects particulates and traps them. This means that all filters will get clogged at some point. To address this and ensure your air stays clean, check your filters now and then and replace them as needed.

Second, set reminders so you don’t have to remember to change your filters. You should change your filter per your manufacturer’s specifications, but those are guidelines. You will learn your system and your home as you use it. Maybe your filters need to be changed more frequently because of your job or less because you hardly run the system in your mild climate. However often you change them, be sure to take this important maintenance step.

How do you remember to check your filters?

First, make a checklist for the year. Checklists on your family calendar or in your planner are great ideas. Set reminders in the months that you need to inspect your filters and replace them.

Second, put a reminder on your phone. Putting it on your calendar is great, but your phone altering you is a great reminder to change them more often. A good rule of thumb is to switch out air filters every three months.

Third, a trick that some commercial HVAC owners use is to put reminders on the filters themselves. Write on the filter when it was installed, so you see how old it is when you check it.

HVAC maintenance services in the Texas Panhandle

If you are experiencing issues with your HVAC system, contact the experts at Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo, Texas. We have experience serving both Commercial and Residential systems. Feel free to give us a call at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email to learn more. You can also stop by our office at 404 S. Hayden St. in Amarillo.