hen people are asked about their household cleaning habits, there are a few that always come up. Vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, and dusting is often the most common reply. One thing you probably won’t hear mentioned, but probably should, is your HVAC (Heating, ventilation, air conditioning) air filter.
How Often Should You Change Your Filters?
Changing your HVAC air filter is a great way to cut down on your energy bills, and isn’t all that hard to anyway. The United States Department of Energy has found that changing your HVAC air filter can improve your filter’s efficiency as much as 15%! Without savings like that, there’s absolutely no reason not to change your HVAC air filters when you’re supposed to. The question is, when are you supposed to change your filters?
Like most things in life, it depends. If your filter is coated in grime and you can’t stand to look at without throwing up, then it’s definitely time to change your filter. That doesn’t mean you should let your filter get to this point before changing it, however. The dirtier your filter is, the less efficient it is. If your HVAC filter is working hard to supply you with clean air, you can expect to see your power bill go up as well. Below we’ll give you some things to think about on how to figure out when and how frequently you should change your filters.
The Type of Filter
The main consideration in figuring out when and how frequently to change your filter is the specific type of filter. Filters can differ from each other based on their material, thickness, their form(pleated or panel) and other less important variables. We know that you, like anyone else, would love to save a few bucks and get a cheaper filter, but that’s usually not a good idea. Buying one good filter can save you more money in the long term than having to buy multiple cheaper filters that have to be replaced frequently.
You should always keep your health in mind. This could never be truer when it comes to deciding on a filter, however. If you’re a person who is allergic to a variety of airborne particles, you’ll find it important to replace your filters frequently. Otherwise, dust and other allergens can build up in your filters and spread throughout your house. Trust me, that’s an experience I don’t recommend.
Do You Want to Save Money?
Who are we kidding, of course, you want to save money! Not only can replacing your HVAC filter lower your energy bill, it can also cut down your heating and cooling expenses. Furthermore, postponing an HVAC filter replacement can cost you big on system repairs, since overworking your filters can cause the whole system to suffer wear and tear.
So, how frequently should you change your filter? It depends. Think about the factors we outlined above. If you get a cheaper filter, or you’re allergic to dust/other allergens, or you just plain want to save money, you should change your filter every few months. If you got a good filter, or you don’t want to save money in the long run, then you can get away with replacing it once a year. Once you replace your HVAC filter, you should be able to take a deep breath and relax.