How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Air Filter
The air inside your home is important. It can be easy to overlook, but you’ll notice when something’s not right. Dust, dander, pollen, and other allergens can be circulated throughout your home when the filtration system isn’t doing its job.
Nashville has its share of allergens. Sometimes the only refuge from the itchy eyes, sneezing, and runny nose are to stay indoors.
So what can you do to keep the inside of your home clear of annoying allergens and maintain healthy airflow?
Your HVAC system has built-in filters to purify the air in your home. Most of these processes need to be maintained by professionals, but there’s a very easy consideration you can take on your own to keep the air in your home healthy.
The air home air filter is your first line of defense against potentially harmful pollutants coming through your air vents. They’re located just behind your air intake vent and they’re very important.
Here are 4 tips to get the most out of your home air filter:
- Get the Right Kind of Filter
- Change Your Filter Every 60-90 Days
- Clean Frequently
- Have Your HVAC Serviced
1. Get the Right Kind of Filter
There are many different choices for the type of filter you can use for your home. Your HVAC system’s manufacturer guidelines should have instructions on the type of filter to use.
At the very least this will tell you the size of the filter you need. There are a lot of different shapes and sizes for the air intake vent, and the filter needs to match this. You can measure your air intake vent to give you the proper size for your filter if you can’t find the manufacturer’s guidelines for your HVAC system.
The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of your air filter indicates how efficient it is at removing particles from the air. Choose a filter with a MERV rating that fits your needs.
MERV 1-4: This is the lowest level of filtration. This will be the cheapest option but won’t do too much to filter the air, although it may help keep dust off of surfaces.
MERV 5-8: Most homes will use an air filter in this range. It avoids restricting airflow while still removing allergens and other particles from the air.
MERV 9-12: These thicker filters are great for homes with multiple pets or for those that suffer from severe allergies. However, you might need to have your HVAC serviced to account for the restricted airflow.
MERV 13-16: This is the highest level of filtration and is rare for homes. This level is generally utilized in smoking lounges, hospitals, and other commercial applications.
2. Change Your Filter Every 60-90 Days
A dirty air filter is essentially going to do the exact opposite of what you want. Dust and other particles are going to build upon the outside of the vent over time.
A layer of dust is going to clog your filter which will make it more difficult for your HVAC system to draw air into the air intake vent. This puts unnecessary strain on your HVAC system.
The filter will also do a much worse job of filtering particles from the air, and can even begin pushing built-up particles into the air intake vent.
Check your filter to see if it’s dirty. This is easy to overlook. Set a reminder to check your filter. Those with allergies or pets should check them every 60 days.
Homes without pets might be able to get away with checking it every 90 days. You’ll be able to tell after a few switches how often you’ll need to replace your filter.
3. Clean Frequently
Your home air filter is going to pick up any particles that are floating around in your Nashville home. You can help your filtration system out by minimizing the number of particles it needs to filter out.
Maintaining a clean home is the best way to lessen the workload of your home air filter. Sweep your floors often. Wipe down dirty surfaces. Keep your pets brushed and clean up their hair when you see it on the floor. Vacuum your rugs and carpets.
You should also clean the air vents throughout your home, including the air intake vent.
Any reduction in potential particles in the air will help your HVAC system run smoother for longer.
4. Have Your HVAC Serviced
Preventative maintenance is the best way to make sure your HVAC system is functioning properly. Breakdowns are not only uncomfortable — imagine your air conditioning cutting out in the middle of a Nashville summer — they can also be expensive.
You should have your HVAC serviced at least once a year to ensure everything is operating the way it should. This will give your filtration system the tools it needs to keep the air in the home clean. It will also greatly reduce the likelihood of HVAC breakdowns when you need it most.