Fall is here and winter is fast approaching. This means that there’s a lot to do around the house to prepare for the cold weather. Homeowners have a long checklist of tasks to accomplish including making sure the furnace works, cleaning out the gutters, checking windows and doors for drafts, and perhaps most importantly – changing the air filter. Many homeowners don’t see changing their air filter as a top priority. However, changing your air filter can help purify the air we breathe by removing allergens and dirt. Not only could changing your air filter regularly help improve the air you breathe, but can also save money on energy costs as well.
Using a proper air filter can help reduce the number of pollutants and allergens that are present in your home. People who suffer from allergies or asthma can potentially benefit from changing out your air filter, but it is important to understand which type of air filter will work best for you. Depending on your lifestyle, there can be different kinds of particulates present in your home. There are two types of indoor air pollutants that exist: particulate matter and gaseous pollutants.
Particulate matter can consist of:
- Dust mites
- Cigarette smoke
- Pet dander
- Cooking odors
Gaseous pollutants can include:
- Building materials
- Products like adhesives,
- Cleaning products
The air filter acts as a trap for these potentially harmful pollutants. By changing out your air filter regularly and using the correct type of air filter, you can help reduce the amount of undesirable particulate in the air you breathe. If your furnace filter is left unchecked, you allow the possibility of letting these particles accumulate in your home. According to the EPA, “People with heart or lung diseases, children and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure. However, even if you are healthy, you may experience temporary symptoms from exposure to elevated levels of particle pollution.”
To find the best filter for your home, you need to consider different MERV ratings. MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) ratings give a measurement for the different sizes of particulate that an air filter can capture. A filter with MERV 8 rating is fairly standard and common in homes and businesses. Furnace filters with this rating can capture smaller particles such as dust. However, if you are prone to allergies, you may wish to consider a filter with a higher MERV rating like a MERV 11 or MERV 13.
Can Air Filters Help Save You Money?
When an air filter has not been changed for a long period of time, dust and debris has the tendency to build up and accumulate on the filter media. This build-up of foreign particulate causes your HVAC system to work harder to push air through the filter. This increased air resistance uses more energy and can end up costing you more money each month in energy costs.
Nobody wants to go through the hassle of hiring maintenance to come repair a faulty HVAC system. Routine filter changes can help save money by eliminating potential maintenance fees. When your system is not working properly, hiring a repairman to come fix your problem can be costly and time-consuming – replacing the entire furnace or AC system even more so. By changing your air filters regularly (every 3-4 months), you can greatly reduce the likelihood of having problems in your home air filtration system, which means you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank on a hefty repair bill.
It’s not hard to see that when you change your air filter routinely, you can easily prevent a number of problems from occurring in your home. Clean furnace filters grab foreign particulate and pollutants more easily than filters with build-up on the media. They also allow air to flow more easily through the air ducts, which can reduce energy costs and save you money each month. Protect your home from harsh pollutants in the air. With the seasons changing, air getting colder, and both indoor and outdoor air environments experiencing change from summer to autumn, there’s no better time to prepare your home for colder months by replacing that dirty old filter in the system with a new, clean replacement filter.