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What You Should Know About HVAC Filters


What You Should Know About HVAC Filters

An HVAC system moves air around your house, and its state can affect the quality of the air you breathe. The usage of such systems has increased over the years, with 91% of American households having central air or window units now. One of the most stressed-upon aspects of the HVAC industry is the need to replace air filters regularly. It keeps the air clean, circulation efficient, and bills low. Below, we explain everything you need to know about HVAC filters.

How Air Filters Work 

HVAC filters work by filtering the air that enters the HVAC system. Air filters, in general, can be made of paper, foam, carbon, aluminum, steel, fiberglass, or plastic formed into fibers or mesh with minute openings. Any particles larger than these perforations can not pass through, so they layer on the outside surface.

The air in one’s surroundings has a variety of particulate contaminants; these include hair, dust, mold spores, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets. Such contaminants are detrimental to health, especially if one already suffers from respiratory diseases. HVAC filters trap such contaminants to prevent them from circulating through buildings. In addition to cleaning the air residents breathe, one of the main purposes of HVAC filters is to protect the components of the system, so frequent replacements of filters lead to the HVAC system’s longevity.

Why HVAC Filters Need Regular Replacement

A buildup of contaminants reduced airflow, causing the motor to use more power to draw the air in; this decreases the motor’s efficiency. Higher load further leads to high electricity bills. Additionally, the cooling power of air conditioning lowers as less air is drawn in because of clogged openings. A heavy dust buildup distorts the air pressure and can lead to the insides of the HVAC system getting grimy, increasing the chances of the motor burning out entirely. The lowering of air quality will also affect the health of the residents of the hosting building

How Often To Get The Filter Replaced

Several factors determine the frequency with which HVAC filters need to be replaced. In general, less expensive fiberglass filters need to be replaced as often as once every 30 days, whereas high-quality pleated filters can last up to six months. However, these are merely general estimates. Consider the following to figure out how often do you need to change your HVAC filter:

1. System Usage

The more you run your AC or furnace unit, the faster the contaminants build upon the filter. If you’re running your system on a daily basis, you may need to change the filter every few weeks, and if you use it seldom, one filter can even last up to a year.

2. Building Size

Smaller homes need less air to be pumped into them for temperature maintenance. If you’re using regularly sized filters, they’ll last longer if your house is small, but if you’re using smaller filters, you’ll have to change them as often as you would in a larger home.

3. Air Quality 

The worse the air quality in and around your home, the more regularly you’ll have to replace your filter. If you live around a busy road or an industrial area, check your filter for buildup every couple of weeks. This will also be the case if the stove in your house is run often, if you indulge in smoking inside, or if you have pets.


Clean filters are essential to decrease energy wastage and optimize energy use. They ensure the longevity of equipment as well. You should examine your filter once a month by holding it up against a light source to see if it requires cleaning or replacement. Clogged filters can ultimately cause problems for humans and the machine alike as they cause issues that range from respiratory diseases to equipment failure. Check your filter now and see if you need to get it changed.

Jacob Lindsey

Jacob is a home remodeling guru having worked over 15 years in construction in Reno, NV, mainly focused on home renovations. He likes taking ideas from his clients and making them a reality.

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