No doubt you’re aware of the guidelines for changing air filters: once a month for cheaper, fiberglass filters, and every three months for higher quality filters. It’s a good rule of thumb, but like everything else, there are exceptions to the rule.
For instance, at the height of summer or winter, you will be using your HVAC system more, so you may need to change it more often.
When to Change the Air Filter
How do you know when it’s time to change the air filter? If you’re not doing so already, you should be checking it regularly throughout the cooling and heating seasons. If you see a coat of dirt and other household debris such as fuzz or hair and that layer appears thick enough to slow airflow, then change it.
Some conditions that call for more frequent changing of the filter because they produce or stir up dust and other debris:
- Shedding pets
- Several people in the household
- Lots of in-and-out activity in the household, or activity that may be stirring up dust
- Interior renovation projects
- Dusty conditions outdoors
As mentioned above, the quality of the filter you use will have an impact on how often it should be changed. A pleated filter with a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) of 8-12 requires changing no more than every three months under normal conditions.
Effects of a Dirty Air Filter
So, besides improved air flow, what are the other benefits of a clean air filter? Here are some of them:
- Keeping dirt out of the HVAC system so parts function correctly
- Preventing coils from icing up
- Improved indoor air quality
- A/C can dehumidify home’s air better
Be aware that a dirty filter can actually boost humidity by promoting condensation, causing the A/C to work harder to dehumidify the home. When the home’s air is more humid in the summer, the occupants will feel warmer, so that you’ll feel the need to turn the thermostat down.
For more on changing the air filter, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We serve Grand Traverse County and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.
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