What You Need to Know About Cleaning and Replacing Home A/C Filters!

Hey there, folks! Today we’re gonna talk about HOME A/C FILTERS. Question: Can you remember the last time you replaced your filter? If you have to stop and think about it, or, even worse, cannot remember… It’s time to replace those filters! A lot of us have the disposable kind, some of us have the type that you can take out and clean — we’ll be discussing both in this article.
Pictured below, two air filters; one new and one absolutely filthy! Summer is FIVE days away and it’s time to make sure your home HVAC system is ready for the heat!

That dirty filter on the right… is that what you want all the air in your home passing through before you end up breathing it in?!
According to serviceexperts.com,
How often to change your air filters can depend on the following:

  • the type of air filter you are using
  • the overall indoor air quality
  • how many pets are in the home
  • the number of people occupying the home, and
  • the level of air pollution and construction around the home

For basic 1″-3″ air filters, manufacturers usually direct you to change them every 30-60 days. If you suffer from light to moderate allergies, you could upgrade the air filter or change them [even more often|more frequently|every few weeks. Or, if you’re in a more remote area or less occupied home (like a vacation home) and there are fewer cars around, annually may be often enough.

Here are averages that might help you know how often you should change the air filter at home:

  • Vacation home or single occupant and no pets or allergies: every 6-12 months
  • “Average” suburban home without pets: every 90 days
  • Add a dog or cat: every 60 days
  • Add more than one pet or anyone has allergies: 20-45 days

That’s right! Approximately every 90 days you need to be replacing those filters!
There are a few different types of home air filters. They are, according to thefuntimesguide.com,

Fiberglass air filters are very thin and they have a simple flat panel surface for trapping particles from the air. They were originally developed to protect your heating and air conditioning equipment, not to improve your indoor air quality. They can often be purchased for less than $1 apiece. Unfortunately, they remove less than 10% of the air pollutants from your home. They have a MERV rating between 1 and 4.

Pleated air filters remove up to 45% of the air pollutants from your home. The number of pleats per foot impact their overall efficiency. They usually cost around $10 each. They have a MERV rating of 10 to 13.

High-efficiency air filters are the most practical air filters for most residential HVAC systems, removing up to 85% of the air pollutants from your home. They have a MERV rating between 14 and 16.

Now what if you have the type that is cleanable? WELL, the steps to getting that bad boy cleaned are easy-peasy! Simply take the filter outside, use a brush to remove a lot of the big chunks of debris and dust, and then use a hose with a spray nozzle on a lighter setting and hose that filter down! Let it dry and you’re good to go!

What are the benefits of knowing all of this information, and using it appropriately? Well… not only will you be breathing in cleaner air, but your likely to save a bit of money on your monthly utilities bill (cleaner filters means a more efficient HVAC system means a lower bill) and not only that but you might be saving yourself a few hundred dollars that results from a technician making a house call to repair your system that’s become clogged with dirt, dust, and debris.

Happy almost-summer, friends! Go ahead and take care of your air filters and while you’re at it, give us a call and let us take care of all your other home-cleaning needs!