Everything You Need to Know About Home Air Filters
What is the Purpose of an Air Filter?
It is important to properly maintain your home air filters in order to have clean air blowing throughout your living space. Air filters prevent dirt and dust from being able to come through the return air vent, through the air ducts, and into the air all over your home.
Keeping Your Air Filter Clean
There are many reasons why you should keep your air filter clean, but the main reason is so that your air conditioner runs and functions properly and efficiently. If your air filter is dirty, it will block air from being able to get through. This is the number one reason why air conditioner units stop working. With too much stress on the fan and motor, it will eventually go out.
A dirty air filter will lead to poor air quality in the home. Some of the things air filters keep out of the air include: dust, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and mold. Without a filter, these things will be circulated all throughout your home.
Having these circulate throughout your home will cause it to become dirty quicker. If your air ducts are dirty, the dust and dirt will be blowing out of the vents, floating through the air, and settling on furniture in every room of your home.
When to Replace Home Air Filters
How often you need to change your air filter depends on several different factors, such as how many people live there, how many pets live there, and the overall air quality inside and outside of the home.
Most manufacturers advise that you change your air filter every 30–60 days. Depending on the status of your living space, you may choose to change yours more or less frequently.
If you have bad allergies, or if you have multiple pets in your home, you will probably find it necessary to change your home air filters more often. However, if you have a vacation home that you only visit a few times a year, you won’t need to change the air filter as often because the air conditioner unit isn’t being used as much.
If you are wondering how to tell when they need to be replaced, there are a few things you can look for. When you look at your air filter, if it is gray in color or has dust and dirt built up on it, it’s time for a change. Some other signs that your air filter needs to be changed are if your home is dustier, or if you notice it is taking longer to heat or cool your home.
How to Replace Your Home Air Filter
Replacing your air filter is a quick and easy process. First you need to determine what size of air filter you need, and then purchase a new one. To determine what size you need, remove the filter that is currently being used and see what size it is.
Once you have your new air filter, open the return air and pull out the old filter. Insert the new air filter in the same spot and close the door to the air filter vent. It’s as easy as that!
If you find it difficult to fit the new filter in the slot, make sure you have the right size. It should easily slide in.
Home Air Filter Brands
What filter brands to look for depend on what your preferences and priorities are. Different air filters offer different characteristics, and have their own pros and cons.
If you feel as though the air quality in your home is good with a simple air filter, you may not need to select a heavy-duty air filter brand. This may also be the case in a vacation home. If your air conditioner unit is not running frequently, you probably don’t need anything heavy-duty.
You may also select your air filter brand based on price, energy efficiency, and health concerns. The greater your concerns, the higher quality air filter you will probably want to purchase.
Air Filter Sizes
Finding the right filter (in terms of size) is very important. The easiest way to determine what size air filter you need, simply remove your current air filter and see what size is written on the side of it. There are many different sizes available.
If you measure your current air filter, you will notice that the actual measurements are slightly smaller than the measurements that are written on the side. This is to make it easier for installing and removing the air filter. If the filter was the same size as the slot, it would be difficult to get it in and out.
If the measurements are not written on the side of your air filter, all you need to do is measure the air filter and round each number up to the nearest whole number. Make sure you measure length, width, and height.
Taking proper care of your home air filter will ensure your electricity bill stays down, your air quality remains good, and help keep your allergies at bay.