Changing Air Filters: The No 1 Priority No Cincinnati Homeowner Should Ignore
by Greg Leisgang on May 8, 2012
Posted in: Indoor Air Quality
One of the most important aspects of maintaining your HVAC system is changing the air filter. This task may take all of five minutes, but it is one of those do-it-yourself jobs that you may neglect. This is a big mistake, as a clean filter is one of the best ways to ensure air quality, fuel efficiency and furnace longevity.
You should check your filter every month and change it whenever it looks dirty. A clogged filter impedes airflow, forcing your furnace to work harder and driving up your fuel bills. A furnace that has to work too hard develops problems more easily, causing you more repair bills and maybe even premature replacement of your system. In addition, a dirty filter means that your indoor air isn't clean, and you're breathing in all that particulate matter.
How often you need to replace your filter depends largely on your family lifestyle. If you have pets, or someone in your family smokes, you may need to change the filter more frequently than a homeowner whose home is pet- and smoker-free. Talk with your HVAC-system technician about how often you should change your filter, or consult your owner's manual.
Also talk with your HVAC technician about the type of filter that's best for your system. Air filters have a minimum efficiency reporting value. The MERV scale ranges from 1 to 16. Most residential filters have a rating somewhere between 4 and 12. A MERV 4 filter is capable of capturing 80 percent large particulate matter but only 25 percent of smaller particles. For most homes a MERV 7 or 8 does an adequate job of capturing particulate matter at an affordable cost.
For more expert advice about changing air filters and other issues related to home comfort, contact JonLe Heating & Cooling. Serving Greater Cincinnati for more than 50 years, we're happy to answer all of your home-comfort questions.