Are You Changing Your Air Filters Enough?

By Drew Armacost

As summer is here, it is a perfect time to change your air filters! It is especially important for people who are allergic to allergens and have asthma. The regular maintenance of your system also will lengthen the lifetime of your air system. Today we will answer 6 questions about air filters:

  • How often to change them?
  • Why it’s important to change them?
  • Will it help lower the energy bill?
  • How to know if it’s time to change them?
  • Where to buy replacements?
  • What kind to buy?

How often to change them ? – Vacation homes or single occupant and no pets or allergies: should be changed every 6–12 months. Common suburban homes without pets: should be changed every 90 days. One dog or cat: should be changed every 60 days. More than one pet or if anyone has allergies: should be changed every 20–45 days depending on the amount of pets and allergies.

Why it’s important to change them? Not changing your air filters can create unwanted damage to your HVAC system. If you regularly change your air filter, it can increase the longevity of the HVAC system. Regular maintenance is very important in reducing damage and high repair costs if you didn’t complete the regular maintenance of your system.

Will it help lower the energy bill? – Changing your air filter is one of the easiest ways to save money on your energy bill! The changing process itself is very inexpensive. If you regularly change your air filter, you can save up to an estimated 15% depending on your usage! It pays to change your filters. Check out Lykins Energy Solutions electricity supply rates by filling out a quote form here:

How to know if it’s time to change them? -There are 5 signs that hint you should change your filters. The first sign is the AC unit is very hot. When a filter is clogged, it requires the unit to work harder to keep your house cool causing the unit to become hot. The second sign is, the air isn’t cold enough. A filter that needs to be changed won’t allow refreshing cool air to pass through as it would in a clean air filter. The third sign is the energy bill is higher than normal even during the summer months. When an air filter needs to be changed as we said above, the units have to work harder to cool the house and cause your electricity bill to be more expensive. The fourth sign is dust near air vents around the house. If areas around your house are dustier near the vents than other surfaces, it is almost a sure sign your air filters need to be changed. The last sign is typically not as obvious but if you are suffering from allergies more often it could be a sign that your AC unit is recirculating large amounts of pollen and allergens instead of clean air with a clean air filter.

Where to buy replacements?  You can buy air filters at your local Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, or home improvement store.

What kind to buy? The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioner Engineers recommends a MERV 6 or higher. Many people buy a MERV 8 filter. Most residential areas can remove contaminants with MERV 8 to 13, while many hospitals use MERV 14 to 20. If you have many animals or people in your house it could be a better option to buy a higher class filter.

We hope this answered some common questions about air filters so you can enjoy the cool and clean air this summer!

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