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Clean vs Dirty Air Filter

How Often Should I Change My Home’s Air Filter?

When you’re the owner of a central air conditioner, there are a few things you’ll have to do to keep it in tip-top shape. For starters, it’s best to schedule annual maintenance appointments to make sure that your unit is in pristine working condition. Another task to consider is replacing your air filters often — but why is that? Let us dive in.

changing HVAC air filter

What Causes an Air Filter to Get Dirty?

Depending on where you live, there’s a chance you’ll either use your air conditioner almost every single day of the year or only during the summer months — just like in Middletown, Ohio. That being said, when your AC is in use, there are a few factors that can cause your air filters to get dirty. One of those is the presence of allergens — such as dirt and dust.

Now, you might be saying to yourself, “How can dirt make its way into my air filter?” Simple: by walking inside with your shoes on. Think about it like this — whatever you walked through with your footwear on will wander into your home and latch to your flooring. And the minute you walk around, it will go airborne.

Another thing to consider is how often you clean your home. Dust, as it's known, is a by-product of matter and, if not cleaned, can make its way into your air ducts — where it will eventually meet your air filter. And if your filter isn’t replaced often, then dust can bog down your unit’s performance, in addition to hindering your indoor air quality.

How Often Should I Replace My Air Filter?

Depending on how often your central air conditioner is in use, you should be replacing your filter about every two to three months. Doing this will not only lessen the chances of allergens being circulated through your home’s air supply, but it will even help your unit work much more efficiently — saving you money on your monthly utility bills.

Of course, depending on the type of filter, some are washable and some that need to be replaced every six months (depending on their quality). Regardless, the best bet is that if you feel your central air conditioner could use a little TLC or you think it may benefit from a filter change, don’t hesitate to replace your filter often to maintain a happy, healthy home!

How to Pick the Right Air Filter for Your Home

Now that you know how often to change your air filter, you'll need to consider what type of air filter to choose. With so many options available, here's a simple guide to what to look for:

  • Size. You'll need to measure the size of the return vent and choose the filter in the matching size. For example, if the vent measures 16 inches tall and 24 inches wide, with a depth of one inch, you'll need a filter measuring 24x16x1.
  • MERV Rating. MERV stands for "Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value” and refers to how much the filter blocks in comparison to peak efficiency value. Filters with higher MERV ratings will filter out more particles from the air, but they may cause your HVAC system to work harder, which will cause more wear and tear and cost you more money in the long run. Check your owner's manual for the recommended MERV ratings for your particular system.

We Have Air Filters That Can Help Improve Your Indoor Air Quality!

To schedule an appointment with our team of indoor quality professionals, call (513) 813-5107.

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