The air conditioning unit is one of the most important parts of any home; it might not be seen as vital a necessity as the electrical or plumbing systems, but it helps to keep everyone in the home comfortable no matter the conditions outside. It also helps to keep the air in the home clean and free of harmful pollutants, allergens, and particulates. Or at least it does if it has a clean air filter installed. That is because the air filter is a vital part of the HVAC system, which makes it a vital part of the home in general.
Just as a tap is an important part of the plumbing system and a light switch is a necessary component of the electrical system, the air filter is an essential part of the HVAC system. Since the air filter is so important, you need to make sure that it is always operating perfectly. Fortunately, it is a simple solution to fix a malfunctioning air filter by yourself. That means there is no excuse why your home should never have a well-functioning air filter.
How to Fix an Air Filter
First of all, if an air filter is not working properly, you do not need to fix it, you just need to clean or replace it. That is because an air filter does not really get broken, rather if it stops working, then the reason is that it is dirty and clogged. An air filter works by trapping the various pollutants and particulate matter in the air. After a while, the air filter gets clogged and cannot hold any more particles. When that happens, not only does the air filter stop working, it can also affect the HVAC system as well.
That is because the system has to work harder to push air through the filter, which means that it uses more energy and can even break. Either way a dirty air filter will put a dent in your pocketbook. So how do you prevent that from happening? Well it depends on the type of air filter that you have. There are disposable air filters and washable air filters. If you have a disposable filter, then you just need to replace it when it gets dirty, which is about every two or three months. If you have a washable filter, then you need to remove it and clean it using a hose when it gets dirty. Once your filter is clean, it will function the way that it should and won’t cause you any problems.
When to Clean or Change Your Air Filter
In general, you need to clean or change the filter every two to three months, however, the frequency depends on the type of filter that you have. Specifically, it depends on the MERV rating of the filter. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value and is a measurement of the effectiveness of the air filter. MERV ratings go from one to twenty and the higher the number, the better the air filter is at trapping particulates that circulate throughout the air.
That means the higher rated filters that are more efficient get dirtier more quickly and will need to be cleaned or changed more frequently. So lower rated filters in the six to ten range only need to be cleaned or replaced every two to three months, while filters that are rated higher than ten need to be cleaned or replaced every four to six weeks.
Make Sure That Your Air Filter is Always in Tip-Top Shape
The air filter is an integral part of the HVAC system, which is why it needs to be in top operating condition at all times. If it stops working as it should, then that is bad news for your HVAC system and possibly your budget. Fortunately, fixing any problems with your filter is simple and easy since all you need to do is clean or replace it, and neither option requires any special skills or equipment so you can easily do it yourself. And you should, because you want your air filter and your HVAC system to always be operating at peak efficiency.