12 Jun 2018

What Make Air Filters So Dirty?

dirty air filtersAtlanta, GA – It’s important to change your air filter on a regular basis, typically about every three months. But sometimes, especially when your HVAC unit is running regularly, it may be necessary to change it out more often. But why does the filter get so dirty in the first place?

There are a few reasons why your air filters might need to be changed out more often.

  1. Pets in the home. If you have pets, especially ones that shed, it is a guarantee that your filter will need to be changed more often. You can help that by vacuuming and brushing your pet regularly.
  2. Dust in the home. Have your recently undergone a home renovation, or do you have rooms that don’t get used very often? Dust can accumulate and if it isn’t cleaned, it can wind up in your air filter.
  3. Higher MERV rating. In general, you’ll need to replace filters with higher MERV ratings more often.
  4. The type of filter you use. Filters can be made of different materials, and that can affect how often they should be replaced. Fiberglass filters should typically be changed every month, pleated filters made of polyester or paper should be changed every three to six months, and electrostatic filters should be cleaned at least once a month.
  5. Thermostat is set to on. If your thermostat is set to “on,” that means the fan is running constantly, circulating air through your home. If that’s the case, it will send dust and other particles through the filter more often than if you use the auto setting.
  6. Leaky air ducts. If you have leaks in your ducts, dust could be pulled from other spaces and end up clogging your filter quickly.

It’s important to change out your air filters regularly, and to keep an eye on them if any of the above apply to you. A dirty air filter will restrict the air flow that can get through, thereby making your HVAC unit work harder to get cool air through your home. Not only will you be making your unit work less efficiently, because it is working harder, your energy bills will actually increase. The Department of Energy estimates that a clogged filter can use up to 15% more energy than a clean one. And as the filter becomes dirtier, the inefficiency only increases.

If you need advice on which air filter is best for your home and your AC unit, call the experts at Atlanta Heating and Air Conditioning today at 404-942-9779.

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