When Should You Replace Your HVAC Air Filter

When Should You Replace Your HVAC Air Filter

Many factors influence when an air filter needs to be replaced. However, there are some telltale signs that it’s time for a change.

For instance, if your energy bills rise without any reasonable explanation, it may be a sign that your filter is dirty. Also, look for visible dust around your vents.

Increased Energy Bills

A dirty filter forces your system to work harder, which causes it to use more energy than usual. This, in turn, translates into higher cooling bills throughout the summertime.

In addition, a dirty air filter is less effective at catching and trapping contaminants lingering in the home’s air. This can aggravate your allergy symptoms.

Changing your filter regularly is a cost-effective way to protect delicate air conditioning components from damage and promote better indoor air quality. It also saves you money on your electricity bill.

However, finding the right time to change your HVAC air filter can be tricky. The challenging answer depends on various factors, including how many people live in the house, the presence of pets, and whether anyone suffers from allergies or asthma. If you watch for the following signs, you can keep your system running efficiently and your family comfortable year-round.

A Musty Odor

HVAC air filters Richmond safeguard delicate system components and boost indoor air quality by blocking contaminants, including dust, dirt, pet hair, lint, mildew, mold, and bacteria. However, over time, the filter gets filled up and will no longer be able to extract new contaminants from your home’s air. This is when you may begin to notice a musty smell.

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A musty odor is often caused by excessive moisture in your home. Whether it’s from a hidden leaky pipe in your wall or wet towels stacked up in your bathroom, excess moisture promotes the growth of mildew and mold spores. These spores are recirculated throughout your home, causing a musty or moldy smell.

A musty odor is also a sign that it’s time to replace your filter. If you have pets, they shed fur and dander throughout the summer and will accumulate in your home’s air filters. This will cause your air filter to break quickly and must be replaced.

Dust Collecting Around the Vents

There’s no doubt that dusting is a chore, but it can also be a sign that your HVAC system is overdue for a new filter. When an air filter gets so dirty that it blocks the filter’s surface and material, it’s time to change it. Continuing to use an overdue filter can restrict airflow, leading to clogged and dirty ductwork.

It’s easy to forget to check the status of your filters, especially if you live in a busy household. But even if you’re diligent about checking the status of your filters, external factors like excess pollen or nearby construction can shorten their lifespan. Regularly changing your filters can restore airflow and improve heating and cooling efficiency while helping those suffering from allergies or respiratory conditions breathe easier. A HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arrestor) filter is recommended for this purpose. However, adding one necessitates consulting with an experienced HVAC specialist to ensure your system can handle the additional airflow requirements.

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An Increase in Allergies

A dirty air filter can make breathing much harder if you or someone in your family suffers from allergies. If you notice that your allergy symptoms are worsening, it’s likely time to change the air filter in your home.

The air filter in your home acts as a barrier to protect delicate system components from contaminants like dust, dirt, pet hair, dander, mold, and bacteria. As the filter gets full, it can no longer extract new particles.

Replacing the air filter in your HVAC system is a vital maintenance task that keeps your system running correctly and your energy bills low. However, many homeowners need to remember to do this essential task. The best way to avoid costly HVAC problems is to monitor your filters regularly and replace them when needed. Call a professional if you need help with your HVAC.

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