Maintaining clean air in your home is essential if you want to keep respiratory conditions and allergies at bay (and if you hate dusting!). The air is full of irritants and pollutants such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, smoke, plant and mold spores, bacteria, and possibly even (in older homes) volatile substances like asbestos, which degrade the air and expose occupants to health hazards.
What can you do to maintain clean air in your house?
The answer is to replace your air filters regularly. Air filters are cleaning devices in your HVAC system; they work by pulling air through the filter, trapping the irritants and pollutants, and preventing them from being circulated. The effectiveness of an air filter depends on several factors, including their physical condition. Therefore, it’s essential to replace them every 30-90 days. (You can read more about how often you should change your air filters here.)
Keep these three things in mind when replacing your air filters.
Know what type of filter you need
You’d be overwhelmed if you saw the number of air filters available (most retail stores only carry the 10 most common sizes). The right one for your home depends on several factors:
- Number of people in the home
- Allergies/asthma/other respiratory illnesses
- Desired level of cleanliness
If you have pets and a full house, consider a higher quality air filter. If your home’s occupants have allergies or respiratory issues or you’re an immaculate person, consider the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating before choosing an air filter – the lower the MERV rating, the less effective an air filter is.
When choosing an air filter, think about the pollutants your home is exposed to and get a product that will purify the air and preserve your family’s health.
Get the right size
An incorrectly sized air filter will do little to clean the air in your home. Poor sizing causes pollutants to sneak around the device – aka air seepage – and get into your home. (It can also damage your HVAC system.) You can prevent this by buying an appropriately sized filter.
Before purchasing an air filter, open your unit and check the size of the old filter. If the size isn’t written on the filter, measure it. (Sizing is odd – read more about it here [LINK TO “What’s a Standard Air Filter Size”].
You could also remove it and take it to the store to find a matching one.
Replacing your air filter regularly will guarantee clean air. As with what filter type you need, your replacement schedule will depend on your home conditions – home with pets and allergy sufferers will need new filters more often. When you choose a filter, check its rating; lower MERV ratings have a shorter life span than higher MERV ratings.
Also, consider inspecting the filter occasionally to ensure it’s not clogged with debris, which will negatively affect airflow and prevent the filter from doing its job.
Air filters are critical to having clean air in your home, but we know they can be confusing – how often to change them, which type to use, remembering to replace them, etc. Contact us today; we can help you find the right air filters AND make it easy to remember to change them.