General Maintenance

One of the most important aspects of maintaining responsible home ownership includes regular home maintenance procedures. While some of these tasks may seem like trivial chores, the truth is that if they are deferred, it can lead to costly consequences. One task that is relatively easy to do is changing the air filter in the HVAC system of your home. While it is a simple and relatively inexpensive task, some people do not do it often enough. Experts recommend for this task to be done at least once every three months, and if it is not taken care of, then the entire unit and, as a result, home suffers.

Clogged HVAC A/C Coil
Running a system without an air filter can cause debris to clog your A/C coil or exchanger.

Why Change Your Air Filter

Typically, most homes will be equipped with one of many different varieties of heat pumps or furnaces. Most of these homes, especially new ones, will be equipped with an HVAC system, which takes care of heating and ventilation, all in one carefully maintained unit. Each of these unites will make use of some sort of air filter in order to make sure that airborne particles do not enter the system. Instead, they are kept out, but can collect on the air filter. A clogged air filter will damage the system itself, and can end up clogging the sensitive machinery that powers the unit.

Cracked HVAC Heat Exchanger
If your furnace is left to run with a clogged filter it can overheat and crack its heat exchanger.

Additionally, if you have a dirty filter, it can become exposed to different types of condensation in the home. This can lead it to becoming damp, which can further lead to the growth of mold which can spread through the home because of the system itself. This can have harmful effects on the health of you and your family, as mold particles and various other contaminants will be recirculated into the home through the system.

Choosing an Air Filter

"hog's hair" vs pleated air filter
Arctic recommends a pleated air filter over “hog’s hair” as they can keep your system cleaner.

While there are different types of filters, most function in the same way. They are all made of disposable and biodegradable paper that is used to trap debris through specially designed cells and screens. Most of these filters can be purchased in a wide variety of different economic multi-packs, and replacement instructions are usually written on the packs themselves. We often get asked which type of air filter to use for the best results. Our personal recommendation is always a pleated air filter over “hog’s hair” because of its ability to capture the smaller dust particles that might by-pass the other. Over time these particles can accumulate on a system’s blower wheel and even its indoor coil restricting air flow. However, we also would not recommend a filter with a high MERV rating, unless it is changed frequently, as they restrict airflow faster as they get dirty. When an A/C system has restricted air flow it will work harder to achieve the same results causing it to burn out faster leading to costly repairs.

Your air filters MERV rating can mean more than you think.
It is Arctic’s recommendation to not use an air filter with a MERV rating over 8 as anything over this can restrict airflow too much.

While you should check your air filter’s condition roughly every three months in order to see if it needs to be changed, further actions can be taken to ensure the longevity of your system. It is a good idea to consult with a licensed professional and have them inspect your HVAC system in order to make sure that it is working as it should be. Contact Arctic Heating & Cooling for all your HVAC needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment