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The 411 on Air Filters: How They Work and When to Replace Them

Man replaces filter on HVAC system

Your HVAC system's air filter is one of the most important components when it comes to keeping your home's air quality clean. In this article, we'll discuss how air filters work, how often they should be replaced, signs they need to be replaced, things that could be shortening their lifespan, and what happens if you don't replace your filters.

Everything You Need to Know About Your HVAC System's Air Filter

Why Air Filters are Important

An HVAC air filter is an important part of your home's heating and cooling system. The filter helps to remove dust, pollen, and other airborne particles from the air before they can circulate through your home. In addition to keeping the air in your home clean, the filter also helps to protect your HVAC system from dirt and debris. A dirty air filter can reduce the efficiency of your system and cause it to work harder than necessary, which can lead to increased energy costs.

How Air Filters Work

The primary function of your HVAC system's air filter is to remove airborne particles from the air, such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. In order to do this, the filter must be able to trap these particles within its fibers. The most effective filters are made of materials such as pleated paper or fiberglass. These materials create a maze of tiny passages that particles can enter but cannot exit. As the air passes through the filter, the particles become trapped and are removed from the air stream.

How Often Should You Replace Your Air Filter?

Changing your air filter on a regular basis is an essential part of maintaining your HVAC system. Depending on the type of air filter you have, you should replace it every 1-3 months. If you have pets or live in an area with a lot of construction or traffic, you may need to replace your filter more frequently. You can also check your filter monthly to see if it needs to be replaced—if it looks clogged or dirty, it's time for a new one. Additionally, if your home has started collecting dust more quickly or you've noticed an increase in allergies or respiratory problems, that could be a sign that it's time to replace your filter.

What Shortens an Air Filter's Lifespan?

There are a few things that could shorten an air filter's lifespan, such as having pets or smokers in the house or living in an area with a lot of traffic or construction. If you have any of these factors in your home, you may need to replace your air filter more frequently. Additionally, if you don't regularly clean or replace your return air grille, that could also shorten the lifespan of your air filter by restricting airflow.

What Happens If You Don't Replace Your Filter?

If you don't replace your air filter when necessary, it will become clogged with particles and won't be able to do its job effectively. This will cause the quality of your indoor air to suffer and could also lead to problems with your HVAC system, such as decreased efficiency and increased wear and tear. Moreover, a clogged air filter puts unnecessary stress on your HVAC system and could cause it to break down prematurely. To avoid all of these issues and unnecessary AC repair, be sure to regularly check and replace your HVAC system's air filter!

An HVAC system's air filter is crucial for maintaining good indoor air quality and prolonging the lifespan of your HVAC system. Make sure your system has a clean air filter and is running correctly by calling (941) 347-0779 and scheduling your maintenance with the HVAC experts at Anthony's Cooling-Heating-Electrical.