Every now and then we’ll get an email inquiry regarding HVAC maintenance, where homeowners will want to know what types of things they should be handling on their own, and how frequently they should have an HVAC repair company come to their home to do a tune up.
This particular client had questions about the frequency in which she should be swapping out her HVAC filter; since this is a question we’re asked more frequently that not, we thought we’d share the correspondence in a bog post.
- I just moved to the area and I just bought my first home. I know there are many things I’ll need to keep up on in terms of regular home maintenance, and I wanted to ask how often I should be swapping out my HVAC filter.
- First, welcome to Colorado, and congrats on your new home!
When it comes to an exact timeline for how frequently you should be changing your HVAC filter, there isn’t a one size fits all answer. What we can tell you, is that you should plan to check your filter on a monthly basis, and you should plan to swap it out when it starts to look dirty.
When your filter gets dirty, it forces your system to work harder to push air throughout your home. As you can imagine, this can put significant strain on your system, and it will also lead to an increase on your monthly heating and cooling bill.
Some of our clients will buy 2-3 HVAC filters at a time and keep them in their garage, so they’ll have one on hand if they need it.
If you have allergies, or you suffer from asthma, you may want to change your filter a bit more frequently; the filter’s main job is to remove things such as mold, bacteria, dust, pet dander, pet hair and other types of allergens from the air.
When you choose a filter, you’ll want to pay attention to the MERV rating. Ultimately, the higher the MERV rating, the better the filter will be at doing its job. Most residential homeowners choose filters that are rated between 8 and 16. Filters that are rated between 17 and 20 are called HEPA filters, and these are more used in places such as hospitals. Most residential systems won’t work well with a HEPA filter and installing one could place additional strain on your HVAC.
If you have any additional questions about the types of maintenance you should be doing on your own, or if you have questions about the types of maintenance you’ll want to have an HVAC company help you out with, please give us a call.