Changing your air filters on a regular, routine schedule allows them to do the job they were designed to do … keep your HVAC free of airborne debris and running at top efficiency. When was the last time you replaced yours?
When should you have replaced yours?
It depends on the type of air filter you use.
It usually says somewhere on the packaging how long a particular air filter should last. “Up to 3 months” or “up to 90 days” is common for pleated air filters used in residential HVAC systems. Some with deeper pleats claim to last “up to 6 months” or even “up to 12 months.” A basic fiberglass air filter, on the other hand, should be changed every 30 days.
The most important part of the phrase that describes the time that air filters are estimated to last are those two little words: up to.
“Up to” means this is the longest that you should wait before changing your air filters. Sometimes, you should change them sooner.
For example, when outside air quality is bad — due to excess smog, dust, or smoke from fires — your air filters get dirtier faster. When you have work done on the inside of your home (a remodel, perhaps) that generates a lot of dust, your air filters get dirtier faster.
And if they get dirtier faster, they need to be replaced more often.
It’s like trying to drink a milkshake or a smoothie through a straw that’s clogged with a dense mass of ice cream or piece of fruit. You have to work a lot harder to get your drink through the clogged straw.
The same is true for your air conditioner trying to pull fresh air through a dirty, clogged filter.
When airflow is diminished by a dirty air filter, the efficiency of your HVAC system suffers. Your power consumption may go up as the motor works harder. And when the motor has to consistently work harder, when your system is not operating at top efficiency, you may also be decreasing the life expectancy of your equipment.
Even with the best intentions, though, it’s easy to forget to change your air filters. So here are three tips to help you remember this easy but important task.
Energy Smart Tips to Remember to Change Your Air Filters
- Write the date you install the air filter ON the filter where you can easily see it without removing the filter. This allows you to check that install date if there’s ever any question of it being time to replace it.
- On the day that you change your air filter, make an appointment with yourself to change it again. Write this appointment in your datebook, planner, on your calendar … wherever you manage your schedule.
- When news outlets are reporting bad air quality, or if you’ve had dusty work done in your home, check your air filter and change it if it’s dirty. A simple visual inspection is enough for you to tell. If in doubt, change it out. It’s a relatively small investment to keep your system running efficiently.
If you have any questions at all about changing your air filters, what kind of filters to use, or anything else about keeping your HVAC system running at top efficiency, please call us!
FRESNO (559) 825 – 7135 | VISALIA (559) 725 – 1730
We’re always happy to answer your questions and help in whatever way we can.