Your HVAC’s filter does the all-important job of stopping particles and pollutants in the air from seeping into your home. Given the nature of the work it does, it’s crucial to clean it up often, but how often?
Don’t over-rely on the 1-2 month rule for HVAC filter cleaning frequency. Certain aspects of your home differ from others. Therefore, your best bet is to use those unique factors to determine when to clean your HVAC filter.
To learn how to do this, read on.
If You Have Allergy-Prone or Asthmatic Occupants
An HVAC filter does an excellent job keeping dust, pollen, pet hair, and other allergens out of your home’s air. This can help better the health of home occupants. They won’t be prone to respiratory illnesses they can get when they breathe in these materials.
However, these don’t just disappear. They stay trapped in your air filter until someone removes them. If no one does, they can build up.
The more these materials build-up, the less effective your HVAC will be at filtering the air. This means that the air in your home will be dirtier and less healthy for occupants.
This state can be especially dangerous for home occupants who are allergy-prone or asthmatic. The health of these individuals depends highly on having clean air.
Therefore, if your home occupants are this way, clean your HVAC filter at least once every month.
If You Have Young Children
Young children are more prone to developing illnesses if they breathe in dirty air. Children breathe faster than adults. They are also closer to the ground, where pollutants are at their highest concentrations.
High exposure to air pollutants can also affect a child’s future health. A Johns Hopkins University study found that children exposed to a mix of dust, sand, and exhaust likely develop asthma later in life.
To keep your young ones safe, clean your HVAC filter at least once every month.
If You Have Furry Pets
Furry pets like dogs and cats can create one of the most problematic air allergens. The more of these you have in your home, the more pet hair will build up in your HVAC system.
Thus, you should perform HVAC cleaning every month or less in a home with lots of furry pets. You should especially do this more around spring and fall. Most mammalian animals shed their summer or winter coats around then.
If You Live in a Very Hot or Cold Area
Your HVAC system doesn’t just control your indoor air quality. It also controls the temperature of your air. It does this by blowing hot or cold air into your home.
Your system also pushes this air through the filter. If this is clogged, then the air can’t get through as easily. This means your AC will struggle to control the temperature of your home.
This can be an immense problem in an area with extreme temperatures, like Texas. Depending on the occupant and temperature, it can cause anything from mild discomfort to death.
Therefore, an AC filter in a very hot or cold area should be cleaned at least once monthly.
If You Want to Be Eco-Friendly or Save on Energy Costs
Another factor to consider is energy costs.
An HVAC with a clogged filter can still keep you comfortable. Yet, it can take a lot more energy to do so. Getting air past the build-up requires a lot more force, which sucks up more power.
This can cause two major problems. The first is that you’ll likely get a higher energy bill. The second is that you’ll be contributing more to ecological pollution by using more energy.
If you’re eco-conscious or need to save money, don’t take longer than a month to clean your AC filter.
If You Want to Reduce Your HVAC’s Noise Pollution
A lot of the noise HVAC systems emit is because of its cycle. Every HVAC will turn on when it senses an undesirable temperature change. When this is at an acceptable level, it will turn off again.
Yet, a dirty air filter can cause short cycling. This is where the HVAC turns on more frequently because it cannot control the temperature very well. The more it turns on, the more noise it will create.
If you’re sensitive to your HVAC system’s noise, consider bi-weekly or monthly HVAC cleaning.
If You Want Your HVAC System To Have a Long Life
The health and comfort of your home’s occupants are not the only things affected by a dirty HVAC filter. This can also affect the health of the HVAC system itself.
A lot of internal issues such as those below can occur when this appliance has a clogged filter. These can cause it to break down or have a shorter lifespan overall. If you don’t want to replace your HVAC system often, clean it every month or less.
Build-Up of Allergens
Allergens can harm your HVAC as well. When these build up on the components of your system, issues will arise.
For example, hair and dust on these components can raise their overall temperature. It can also stop the HVAC system from being able to regulate this.
Your HVAC system uses refrigerant chemicals to create cool air. It needs to blow warm air over these coils to keep these in check. Warm air isn’t as accessible with a dirty filter.
Ice can then form on the appliance’s coils. This can cause them to deform or crack.
When you work the HVAC components too hard, they can overheat. As mentioned earlier, a dirty AC filter makes the system work harder to cool or heat your home.
Overheating causes a few problems. It can cause the entire system to wear down and need replacement faster.
This issue may also become a fire hazard for your home. Luckily, modern-day systems often have safeguards in place. These can shut your HVAC system down when it becomes too hot.
Still, remember that HVAC systems can get old and parts can break. Be careful to not trust the safety of your home and its occupants on a possibly fallible system.
Can’t Handle Filter Cleaning on Your Own? Call the Experts!
Now that you know all the hazards and reasons for filter cleaning, you probably want to get started on the process. However, you may find it difficult to get a good clean, especially if you’re new to the task.
If you want your air conditioner to work the best, call us. We provide HVAC services for multiple Texas cities, namely Atascocita, Conroe, Houston, Huffman, Humble, Kingwood, New Caney, Porter, Spring, and The Woodlands.