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Changing the Air Filter to Ensure Healthy IAQ and to Protect Your HVAC System

In today's busy lives, how fast time passes. The list of "to-do's" on a given day can be pretty daunting. Changing the filter in your air cleaner is often forgotten in the haste of a busy schedule, especially because it's not a daily task. But changing your air filter on a regular basis is key for these reasons:

  1. Improved indoor air quality – You installed an air cleaner to keep indoor air clean, and free of contaminants.  As the filter inside your air cleaner captures harmful particulates, it becomes "loaded". Air can no longer pass through the filter to capture particulates.  Clean filters keep dust, allergens and unhealthy contaminants from collecting in the ductwork and circulating throughout your home every time the blower fan cycles on. Keeping the duct system clean is especially important if anyone in the household suffers from allergies, asthma or chronic respiratory conditions.
  2. Extended equipment life span – By changing the filter regularly before it becomes clogged with debris, critical system airflow is maintained and the equipment doesn’t have to work as hard to meet your desired comfort level. This prevents overheating, which helps you avoid costly breakdowns. It can also prolong the service life of expensive components like the A/C compressor, fan motor and furnace heat exchanger.
  3. Energy savings – A dirty filter makes the rest of your heating and air conditioning system work harder to send air through the system. And, checking and replacing the air filter on a regular basis stops dust and dirt from building up inside the system and blocking essential heat transfer. When airflow and heat transfer are at optimal levels, the HVAC system uses less energy to maintain comfort, and this helps keep your operating costs in check.

Tips for replacing your air filter:

  1. Be sure to use the brand of air filter recommended by your manufacturer, as the fit and design were carefully considered to ensure optimal air cleaner performance.
  2. Monitor your filter.  While a manufacturer may recommend replacing your filter once every 6 months, remodeling, increasing your pet population, overall lifestyle and hobbies can mandate that it be changed more often.
  3. Think twice about using a higher MERV rating. This is because as filter efficiency increases, there is a corresponding increase in the level of air flow resistance. A highly-efficient filter may restrict air flow to a level that will damage your HVAC system by placing additional strain on the fan motor. Contact your local contractor, or the manufacturer before installing a filter different from the one recommended.
  4. Set reminders for yourself, whether on your calendar or on the air cleaner itself to ensure you don't forget this important task.

 

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