HVAC and AC maintenance is one of the most important things you can do for the longevity and energy efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling system. Whether you’re in the middle of a hot Atlanta summer or need a little heat to keep your home cozy and comfortable in the winter, regular HVAC tune-ups can reduce the frequency or likelihood of expensive breakdowns, keep your system energy efficient, and even extend the lifespan of your unit.
One of the most crucial elements of AC or heating maintenance is paying attention to your air filters and making sure they’re clean. If they aren’t, you’ll need to either clean them, or replace them, depending on the kind of filter you have. Either way, air filter maintenance is easy and simple for any homeowners to stay on top of. Here’s what you need to know.
Why Air Filters Are Important to Your HVAC System
As air circulates through your home and your central ductwork system, it can pick up dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and other air pollutants. Air filters help to clean the air before it’s cooled or heated again by your air conditioner, furnace, or heat pump and redistributed back into your home to keep you comfortable. Trapping these particles and removing them from your breathing air has two main benefits: improving the quality of the air being sent back out into your home, and protecting your mechanical components of your cooling and heating system.
Air filters come in various dimensions, but they are primarily categorized by what’s called a MERV rating. MERV, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is a rating system that ranges from 1-16, and the higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particles and contaminants in the air the filter is able to trap.
Why Do You Need to Change or Clean Your Air Filters?
Your HVAC system is designed around a delicate balance of air flow pressure. The longer an air filter is used, the more particles and contaminants it catches, and the dirtier it becomes. Eventually, your filter will be visibly dirty, and it will begin to affect air flow, putting unnecessary wear and tear on your system.
How to Replace an Air Filter
Most HVAC systems have air filters that are one time use, so when it’s time to change (we recommend changing after every 3 months of operation at a minimum), you can simply discard the old filter and replace it with a new one. A few tips:
Turn your HVAC off so that it doesn’t start running while you’re in the middle of replacing the filter.
Confirm the new replacement filter is the correct size and has an appropriate MERV rating and remove the old filter (Not sure what MERV rating is best for your system? Give Anchor a call!)
Install the new filter. Most filters have an arrow printed on them indicating which way air should flow through them, so that you don’t install them backwards.
How to Clean a Reusable Air Filter
Some air filters are reusable or washable, so you can take them out, gently clean them with a vacuum or a hose, let them dry, and then reinstall them for continued operation.
Call Anchor for your HVAC and AC Maintenance Needs
Making sure your air filters are clean is important, but it’s just one part of taking good care of your AC, furnace, or energy efficient Trane heat pump. With Anchor’s EZ-Pay program, you’ll get peace of mind and high quality HVAC service for less than $20 a month. With 2 maintenance tune-up visits a year, 24 hour emergency service, and discounts on repairs, you can feel better about reliable home comfort, and you’ll get more years of use out of your home heating and cooling systems.