Your indoor air is one of the top five environmental hazards listed by the U.S. EPA. Reducing particulate contaminants such as pollen, mold, viruses and bacteria in your northwest Arkansas home is as simple as changing the furnace filter when it’s dirty. The same applies for your heat pump or A/C filters. A dirty filter has far-reaching effects on your air, your energy costs and your HVAC equipment:
- HVAC failure. The most common cause of furnace failure is a consistently dirty filter. A dirty filter impedes the flow of air to your system and makes it work harder, increasing the risk of overheating and developing cracks in the heat exchanger.
- Higher energy costs. When your furnace has to work harder due to a dirty filter, your energy costs rise.
- Dust buildup. The filter in your furnace protects its interior from dust buildup, which causes damage to the system’s components.
- Air quality. A clean filter will help reduce allergy and asthma symptoms, as well as help prevent other illnesses associated with dirty indoor air.
- Carbon footprint. If your filter is dirty, your furnace uses more energy to keep your home comfortable, increasing its carbon footprint.
How often should you change your filter?
You should check your filter every month and replace it when it’s dirty. Stock up on filters early in the heating season to make changing your filter more convenient.
What type of filter should you use?
Air filters are rated on the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV, scale. Higher MERV ratings mean the filter can capture smaller particles. MERV 1-4 filters provide minimum protection for your HVAC system and do little to improve the quality of your air. MERV 5-8 filters are medium quality and sufficient for most residential needs. MERV 9-13 filters are high quality and will help prevent asthma and allergy attacks. MERV ratings higher than 13 are generally only used in commercial buildings. It’s critical to balance airflow with air-cleaning qualities, so check the specs of your system before upgrading your filter.
For more expert advice on changing the furnace filter in your home, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air, Geothermal & Generators. We serve northwest Arkansas with excellent customer service.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about Changing The Furnace Filter and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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