We recently received an email from a new homeowner, who wanted to know how frequently he should be swapping out his HVAC filters, and since this is a question we get quite often, we thought we’d share our reply.
Hi, thank you for your email, and congrats on your new home!
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact time frame that you should replace your HVAC filters, because every system, and every home, is a little bit different from the next.
Your HVAC system filter is designed to help keep things such as microorganisms, dust, lint, pet dander, pollen, bacteria and mold spores from circulating through your home. As you can imagine, when the filter becomes dirty, it’s unable to do the job it was designed for.
Dirty air filters will reduce air flow because their filtration abilities will be inhibited. Dirty filters will also lead to increases in your heating / cooling costs, increased risk of HVAC malfunction and increased risk of fire.
We recommend checking your filters at least once a month. If it looks OK, you’re in the clear. If it’s starting to look dirty, you should work on getting it replaced.
If someone in your home suffers from asthma or seasonal allergies, you may want to consider replacing your filter on a more frequent basis, and you may want to consider using filters that have a higher MERV rating, because the higher the MERV rating, the better it will be at filtering out dust particles and other types of contaminants from the air in your home.
MERV ratings span from 1 to 20, and while most residential homes use filters that range between MERV 8 and MERV 13, and most residential HVAC systems will work well with a filter that has a MERV rating of up to 16.
Filters that have a rating that span between 17 and 20 are known as HEPA filters and they’re most commonly used in general surgery and hospital settings. If this type of filter is installed at a residential home, your HVAC system may not be able to handle it.
If you have questions about which MERV rating filters your current HVAC system uses, we would encourage you to double check the user manual. Or, if you let us know the make and model of the system you have, we’ll be happy to make a recommendation.
At Comfort Pros Heating & Air Conditioning we have years of experience in helping Northern Colorado residents with all of their HVAC filtration needs.
We understand that being a new homeowner can be as stressful as it is exciting, especially when you consider the types of ongoing maintenance you’ll need to schedule for heating and cooling system.
Our company can assist you with repairing older systems in addition to installing a new one.
If you have questions about how often you should be replacing your HVAC air filter, or you’d like to learn more about the differences in MERV ratings, and which filter will work best for your home.