You’ve probably seen them hundreds of times – the square or rectangular object with blue or green fiberglass or other material filling the space inside a cheap cardboard frame. You know it’s a furnace filter but otherwise aren’t sure about the job it performs in a forced-air cooling or heating system. If you’re a homeowner, knowing a little more about the air filter – including how often air filter changes are necessary – will end up providing you with energy savings and cleaner indoor air.
When to change air filters depends on several factors. In order to understand these factors, it helps to understand the role the filter plays in your home’s central heating and cooling system. The filter is usually located where the home’s return ductwork connects to the main HVAC installation (furnace, A/C or heat pump). Before a powerful fan pulls household air into the equipment, the filter sifts out dust and debris.
This is an essential job for two reasons:
• Dust can coat sensitive HVAC components, creating friction and impeding their operation. This wastes energy and leads to breakdowns.
• If contaminants aren’t filtered out of household air, they’ll threaten the health of home occupants, including those with allergies or respiratory issues. Clean air is desirable even if you’re relatively healthy.
The usual rule on changing the air filter is to check the filter monthly, replacing it before it gets coated with debris. You’ll find that you need to change air filters more during the hot season on the Coastal Bend for an obvious reason. With the A/C operating more often, more air passes through the filter.
During mild times of year, continue checking the filter every month, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t need replacement that often.
If your home is located in an area with a great deal of dust or pollen, or construction is occurring in or near your home, inspect the air filter more frequently, and change it when necessary.
For help choosing the right air filter for your Corpus Christi area home, please contact us at CCAC, Inc.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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