The air filter is critical to keeping your home’s air quality in its best shape. It uses a mechanical process to remove different kinds and sizes of particles from the air that could affect our health if breathed in. That ranges from pollen and animal dander to mold spores and smoke particles. Regularly changing the filter ensures that our indoor air quality remains up to standard, helping keep our families healthy and safe.
The Importance of Having a Clean Air Filter
There are many reasons why it’s imperative to change your air filters often. First, you’ll enjoy improved comfort levels indoors with cleaner indoor air.
Second, your system must work harder to pull air through a dirty and clogged air filter. This decreases airflow throughout the home. The extra work causes increased stress on the system and could shorten its lifespan. It also means that the system is using more energy. Of course, that means higher utility bills.
Regularly changing your home’s filters will ensure optimal performance and help save money on costly repairs or replacements needed down the line. The small increased cost of replacing the air filter more often can save you considerable money in the long run.
The following are some more reasons your air filters get dirty quickly.
Dust, Dirt, and Other Particles
Air filters trap dust, dirt, and other particles to keep the air inside a building clean and healthy. However, the very thing that makes them effective also makes them get dirty quickly. The more dust and dirt in the air, the faster the air filter becomes clogged.
This is especially true in areas with high levels of air pollution, such as near busy roads, industrial sites, and agricultural areas. Additionally, if a building is in a dry, arid climate, the air filter may become dirty more quickly, as the dry air can suspend dust.
Pets are a big contributor to airborne particles that cause a filter to get dirty quicker. While having pets in the home brings joy, homeowners must understand that it can cause a decrease in indoor air quality. Pets shed hair and dander, which gets caught in the air filter. They also can bring dirt into the home. A standard air filter should be replaced every three months or more frequently if pets are present. At BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair, we have professionals who can guide you in choosing the right filter for your home.
Indoor activities can also contribute to your filter getting dirty quicker than usual. Cooking, for example, can cause your air filter to get dirty faster. When food is burned, it produces particulates such as smoke and grease that can accumulate on the air filter. Regular cleaning of ovens, burners, and range hoods helps reduce the amount of smoke and grease released into the air, reducing the amount of dirt on the air filter.
Various other ways of cooking can contribute to your air filter getting dirtier faster. Cooking with oils, sautéing or frying, and grilling can all lead to a dirtier air filter. When cooking with oils, the oil particles can become airborne and settle on the air filter, causing it to become dirty. The high heat from sautéing or frying can also cause smoke, grease, and other particles to become airborne and collect on the air filter. Grilling produces a lot of smoke, which can also settle on the air filter and cause it to become dirtier.
Baking and steaming also have an impact on the air filter. Baking creates particles in the air that can settle on the air filter, particularly if you use a lot of sugar, flour, or other ingredients that can create dust.
The use of cleaning chemicals can also cause your air filter to get dirty faster because these chemicals can release particles into the air that can stick to the filter. Because these particles can cause the filter to become clogged more quickly, it reduces its effectiveness in trapping other pollutants.
High MERV Rating
Not all filters are created equal. The MERV rating will tell you how efficiently the filter is trapping airborne pollutants. The higher the rating, the more particles it will trap. At the same time, because a higher-rated filter traps more pollutants, it will also get dirty more quickly.
You may be tempted to save money by using a lower-end air filter. However, cheap filters are often made of low-quality materials and do not capture small particles in the air. Cheap filters also tend to fall apart more easily, releasing dirt and other particles into the air. When you use a cheap filter with a low MERV rating, you will have more particulates floating in the air. While this might be acceptable for some, if someone in the home has asthma, allergies, or similar issues, you want to go with the highest MERV rating. Just remember to change it more frequently.
Smoking can cause your air filter to get dirty faster because the smoke particles are small and easily trapped in the filter. These particles accumulate over time, clogging the filter and reducing its effectiveness in removing pollutants from the air. As a result, smokers may need to replace their air filters more frequently than non-smokers, which can be costly and time-consuming.
Constant Use of the HVAC system
The constant use of the HVAC system is a significant reason your air filter gets dirty quickly. One such way is when the system is set to fan mode. Also, your heating or cooling system will run more frequently when it is very cold or very hot outside. Additionally, the HVAC system is constantly used in an environment with poor air quality, such as a heavily industrialized area. In that case, the air filter will work even harder to trap the pollutants, leading to a rapid buildup of dirt and debris.
Regardless of why the system is running more frequently, the increased airflow from the constant running means a higher volume of air goes through the filter. In turn, the air filter will trap more pollutants from the air, such as pollen, dust, and other allergens. If you notice your heating or cooling system running frequently, check the filter more often.
Overall, air filters play an important role in keeping the air clean and free from harmful particles. You must change them regularly to maintain indoor air quality, improve HVAC system efficiency, extend system lifespan, improve comfort levels inside the building, and save money.
For professional assistance with air conditioning and plumbing repairs, turn to BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair. Our experts specialize in a wide range of services, including AC and heater installation, maintenance, and repair. We also offer plumbing services such as water heater repair and leak detection. Trust us to keep your home’s systems running smoothly and efficiently. Don’t wait until it’s too late; contact us today to schedule your next service appointment. We’re ready to help.