One of the services the trained HVAC technicians at No Sweat Air Conditioning offer our clients is a cleaning of the air filters on your air conditioning unit. Air filters are often used as an indicator of overall system maintenance and efficiency. Your HVAC technician may look at your air filters as the cause of inefficient airflow or reduced function. So, how often should you change them out? Why do they get so dirty so quickly?
The answers to these common air filter questions and more are available here, so read on to find out more or contact our team for maintenance to your residential AC system.
How Often Should You Change Your Air Filters
In Las Vegas it is recommended to change our your air filters monthly when you are running your AC system. This however may be adjusted based on the unique circumstances in your home. For instance, if you have allergies you may consider changing the air filters every month, but if your home is used infrequently and your systems go unused for extended periods of time then you may go several months before needing to change them. Pets may contribute to the need to change your air filters more frequently as well. It is never recommended, however, to go more than 6 months between air filter changes. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see accumulation on your air filters it is a better idea to change them than not to change them out.
It is important to remember that while there is a cost to replacing dirty air filters they reduce the energy needed to efficiently run your HVAC system, and often to a point that it more than pays for the filter itself. Aside from routine and seasonal AC system maintenance, changing the filters is one of the best ways to extend the life of your AC unit.
Why Do Your Air Filters Get Dirty So Quickly
The answer to this common question is likely related to the setting of the fan on your thermostat. If it is set to the “ON” setting then the indoor blower will be running 24/7, circulating air through the ducts and associated air filters. This will more evenly distribute the air throughout your living space and keep air flowing. The air will flow through your air filters and catch any airborne contaminants along the way. This may cause them to get dity faster than if the setting is automated and only kicks on to adjust the temperature in your living space.
Additionally, environmental contaminants such as dander from pets, dust from construction, and even the regular use of candles may contribute to the volume of contaminants and the color of dirt that collects at your air filters.
What Can Happen If I Skip Air Filter Changes?
A number of issues can come about as a result of dirty air filters. The most noticeable are increased energy costs and allergies. With prolonged use of dirty air filters you may cause irreparable damage to your AC system that result in costly repairs or replacements.
What Are Some Common Contaminants Captured By Air Filters?
Your indoor air quality is directly impacted by the quality of air filter you use and the frequency in which you change them out. As the primary function of your air filters is to clear the air being pulled into your duct system which pollutants they capture is directly a result of the quality of the air filter you choose. Cheap air filters tend to be lower quality and only capture larger particles, while better quality air filters capture even microscopic contaminants in the air. Some of the particles captured in even low grade air filters include animal dander, bugs, ash, lint, hair, and pollen. Meanwhile, top quality air filters may capture viruses, spores, mold, paint vapors, smoke, and product fumes.
Is There A Difference Between Summer & Winter Air Filters?
No. The same type of air filter you use for summer can be used in the winter and vice versa. The terms HVAC includes heating and air conditioning and the air filters you use are designed for use with both.
What Filter Is Best For Las Vegas Homes?
Choosing the best air filter for your Las Vegas home depends on the contaminants you put into your environment. You should consider the number of people and pets in the home, how often you dust or vacuum, your proximity to desert spaces, whether you smoke or frequently use candles, allergies, and even how regular you are about changing your filters. If you consider your home to have low contaminants, be frequently cleaned, no pets, and you don’t leave windows and doors open you can probably use a lower quality air filter without any adverse impacts. However, even the best of conditions should warrant at least a mid range filter and frequent change outs due to the dusty conditions found in the air throughout the Las Vegas valley.
How Do I Determine Air Filter Size?
If you’ve never changed out or ordered air filters this can be a common concern. The current air filter in your system will tell you the size. Look for the directional arrow on the air filter and you will see numbers that denote the filter width, length and thickness. This is the air filter size your HVAC unit requires and should be the size you order every time. It should fit in the slot snugly and without gaps on the sides.