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The air filter is an essential part of your home’s heating and air conditioning unit. It is responsible for removing dust, dirt, pet dander, and other particles from the air. Not only does the air filter trap these things, but it also helps keep them from getting inside the parts and components that make up your home’s heating and cooling system.

man changing air filter

Deciding how often to change your air filter will depend on several different factors, including:

  • The quality/type of air filter used. The quality of the air filter will influence how often it needs to be changed. If you use a basic-quality air filter, then you should change it every 30 days. If you use a higher-quality air filter, it can last up to 90 days.
  • The MERV rating on the filter. The MERV rating is how effective the filter is at removing airborne particles, dust, and other debris. Higher MERV ratings are not always best because they only leave very minuscule holes for air to pass through. If these become clogged, they could damage your heating and air conditioning system.
  • The quality of the indoor air inside your home. If you smoke inside your home or have problems with excessive dust, you will want to change your air filter every 30 days, no matter what quality or type you use.
  • Whether you have pets inside the home and how many. If you have pets inside the home, you will need to change your air filter more often—about once every 60 days.
  • Whether you suffer from allergies or have asthma. If you have either of these conditions, you will want to change your air filter every 30 to 60 days.

How to Tell When You Need to Change the Air Filter

The best way to know when you need to change the air filter is by inspecting it every 30 days. If it has a large amount of grayish-colored dust and pet hair or it looks dirty, then change it. If you are not sure whether it is ready to be changed, you can either compare it to a brand new one to see how dirty it is or contact your local heating and cooling repair technician for advice.

It is important to keep in mind, even if you have a 90-day filter, it does not always last this long. If the air quality inside the home is poor or if you have pets, smoke indoors, or any combination of these things, your air filter can get dirty much faster.

dirty air filter

Benefits of a Changing Your Air Filter

Making sure the air filter is changed on a regular basis will help you avoid a wide range of heating and air condition system problems. Dirty air filters restrict airflow and can cause:

  • System Overheating: Air is required to keep moving parts and components cool. Otherwise, they will overheat.
  • System Failure: Constant overheating can cause premature system failures and require getting a new system installed.
  • System Burnouts: Various parts and components inside the system can burn out from being overworked and overheating.
  • Increased Energy Bills: The system has to work much harder and run longer to maintain your home’s indoor air temperature.

For further information on the quality and type of air filter you should be using and how often to change it, or to schedule tune-up maintenance for your home’s heating and air conditioning system, please feel free to contact A+ Services at 360-491-2900 today!

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