As air cycles through your HVAC system, it carries with it pet dander, dead skin cells, dust mite carcasses, pollen, mold spores, etc. All of these air pollutants can irritate your lungs. If you have asthma or allergies, the mixture of pollutants cycling through your HVAC system is a recipe for misery. In order to keep your air clean, you should have a filter in your duct system. Proper selection and care of this filter is integral to preserving the air quality in your home and the efficiency of your system,
There is no magic period of time to wait between filter changes. Your furnace or AC company might make a recommendation, so might your filter's manufacturer. However, depending on the conditions in and around your home, your filter will clog at a faster or slower rate. For example, if there is a lot of construction outside of your home, the dust from the construction can get into your home and cause your air filter to clog. Or, if you have several pets and a large family, pet dander and dead skin cells will cause your filter to clog faster than someone who lives at home. Thus, you should check your filter regularly and change the filter when necessary.
If your goal in using a filter is to extract pollutants from the air in your home, you might be tempted to select a hypoallergenic filter, which will have a thicker mesh than the normal filter. While such a filter should help to keep the air in your home cleaner, it will slow down the air flow through your furnace, which will increase your heating costs, and the filter will clog faster than a normal furnace, which will increase your filter costs. While you might be able to justify these higher costs if it keeps the air in your home clean and your lungs happy, you might be better served by buying a separate air filtering unit to purify the air in your home.
Neglecting the filter in your HVAC system can drastically decrease the efficiency of your system. As the clogged filter chokes off the air flow through your system, it ends up working harder and longer to maintain the desired temperature in your home. Not only will a dirty filter lead to increased utility costs, but it will lead to unnecessary wear and tear on your HVAC equipment, which can lead to the need for premature replacement. Clearly, proper care for your filter is a must. Talk to your local HVAC contractors, such as CRT Mechanical, for more information.