Keeping up with monitoring, replacing, and cleaning your filter may be one of those mundane tasks that no one really wants to do, but trust us it is of the utmost importance that you do. Here are a few helpful tips and tricks to help you stay on top of maintaining your filter in your HVAC unit.
Why is filter cleaning and replacement important?
A filter helps to keep the air clean and works to keep your air free of any unwanted dust and particles. Maintaining your air filter can even save you money! The United States Department of Energy reports that filter maintenance can improve the efficiency of your HVAC unit by 5-15%.
What happens when your HVAC filter is dirty?
When your air filter is dirty and full of particles, it creates a drop in pressure that ultimately reduces air flow or creates a “blow out.” A blow out occurs when there is no air filtration occurring at all, when this happens, it puts your HVAC unit under extreme stress which can, in turn, lead to premature failure, leaving you with repair and replacement costs.
Another consequence that can occur when homeowners fail to maintain proper filter cleaning protocols is the risk of mold growth. When dirty filters or HVAC ductwork are exposed to moisture or condensation it can become damp and lead to the growth of mold and bacteria. This mold can then spread throughout the entire home by the HVAC system. If during your filter inspection you notice any signs of moisture, mold, or mildew it is important that you immediately replace the filter and call the experts here at KAC Express.
How can you tell if the filter is installed properly?
If you’re not sure if professionals like KAC Express installed your filter or if you are replacing the filters yourself, here are some helpful things to keep an eye out for to ensure that your HVAC unit has proper filter installation.
– Is the media properly sealed in the frame? This will help to avoid air bypass.
– Is the filter installed according to the direction of airflow? Many filters use varying colors for the front and back to label upstream or downstream air flow.
-Is the bank of your filter frame rigid and well enforced? This will help to avoid any unwanted collapse.
– Are there any visible cracks between the filter frames or between the back of the frame and duct wall caulk? Checking this will prevent the leakage of unfiltered air.
-Does the filter properly fit the frame size?
How often should you replace or clean your HVAC filter?
Many people choose to implement filter replacement at the start of a new season, but we recommend changing out or cleaning your filter once a month depending on the lifespan of your specific filter and the following variables:
-Do you have any pets? All of the hair and dust from your beloved furry friends only add to the particles that your filtration system collects. Because of this, you may want to increase how often you change your filter. We also recommend that you choose a filter that helps with dander if you don’t already.
-How many people are currently living in your household? The more people, the more dust and dirt that is created and accumulated.
-Do you use your indoor fireplace? Is there a lot of pollution in your area? Is there construction going on nearby? Do you smoke indoors? If you answered yes to any of these questions you may want to consider increasing the frequency of your filter replacement.
How do you wash an HVAC filter?
If your HVAC filter is the permanent, washable and reusable kind, all you need to do is rinse the filter out with water. Filter cleaning can either be done in a sink nearby or the hose outside.
How do you monitor your filter on your HVAC system?
Filter monitoring includes keeping an eye out on the air quality inside your home and office space. If you begin to notice that the air inside just doesn’t seem as fresh or if people inside your household have been suffering from allergies or frequent colds it could be a sign that your filter should be replaced.
Tip: Note the date of filter replacement in a convenient location nearby. If you begin to notice that your filter is in need of constant replacement or cleaning in a short time span it may be an indication that there is a problem with the HVAC unit or ventilation system.
If you are looking to improve your indoor air quality, give our team of HVAC experts a call. We are here to discuss all of your air filtration needs!