A heating and cooling system fulfills several important functions within the home, including filtering and warming the air that your family breathes. As these systems run throughout the winter, they move air through filters that trap fine particles like dust, pet dander, and pollen.
Replacing your HVAC filter regularly is a smart idea, and it may need to be done more frequently during a Virginia winter because you’ll likely be spending more time indoors. Use our guide to learn how often to perform this crucial maintenance task.
Why Are Regular Filter Changes So Important?
Changing the filter is a key component of a good yearly HVAC maintenance program. Depending on the system, the filter may be reusable or disposable. Reusable filters are often used in ductless systems, and they typically consist of thin, perforated metal sheets that you simply remove, clean, dry, and reinsert.
Most forced-air furnace and heat pump systems use paper disposable filters. No matter which type of filter your home’s HVAC system uses, you need to understand why filtration is necessary and how it works to remove airborne contaminants.
What Happens When Filters Aren’t Replaced Regularly?
When life gets busy, homeowners may forget to replace their air filters. While it may not seem like such an important issue, ignoring the filters can create big problems for a home’s HVAC system. It’s a good idea to keep an extra filter on hand for last-minute changes because it may prevent:
- Higher energy bills – When an air filter becomes dirty and clogged, the air that moves through may push contaminants into your furnace. If the heating system’s internals get dirty, they will struggle to transmit heat, and you’ll pay more to heat the home.
- Inconsistent heating – A dirty air filter will inhibit airflow, keeping heated air from getting into some rooms. If the problem is left unaddressed for too long, dirt and grime will cover the inside of the ductwork and create a blockage. When this occurs, the system will use more energy, and you’ll notice inconsistent heating.
- A shorter lifespan – If you want to make a furnace last as long as possible, regular filter changes are essential.
While the importance of regular filter changes can’t be understated, we know that it doesn’t always happen on schedule. When you need help with problems related to a dirty HVAC filter, give Simmons Heating & Cooling a call.
When Is the Best Time to Replace an HVAC Filter?
Numerous factors affect the frequency with which filters should be changed, including size, thickness, variety, MERV rating, and household composition. Filter companies offer recommendations for filter lifespans, which can range from a few weeks to a year. Learn what your filter manufacturer recommends, and follow those suggestions closely.
Wintertime is hard on HVAC systems and filters because Virginia’s families use their heating systems more often. As the heat is run more frequently, the filter will get clogged faster, so be sure to check yours often.
How to Replace an HVAC Filter
Changing a filter is easy, fast, and a job that most homeowners can do without help. It’s important to swap the old filter for one that’s the same size and that has the same MERV rating. Many heating systems won’t work correctly if a filter with a too-high MERV rating is used because it will inhibit airflow. The new filter should fit into the space allotted and should let air through easily. Here’s how to do it:
- Find the appropriate compartment. On most systems, it’s on the return side.
- Snap a photo of the filter’s placement. Either remove the old filter and dispose of it in the trash, or rinse a reusable filter and allow it to dry.
- Remove the new filter from its casing, and insert it into the compartment. Ensure that the arrows on the filter are facing in the same direction that air travels when it moves through the ducts.
- Replace the access panel.
Though it’s easy to replace HVAC filters, we understand that not all homeowners know how. Call us today, and we’ll get your filter issues sorted out!
Wintertime Maintenance Starts With Regular Filter Changes
Filter changes keep heating and cooling systems healthy, so it’s important to take the job seriously. Keep an extra filter or two on hand so you can change it often, and make a note on the calendar so it’s hard to forget.
Don’t forget that we can also service, repair, or install an air conditioner, and we also work with geothermal systems and generators. You can always call us here at Simmons Heating & Cooling in Chesapeake if you have questions. We’re happy to help!