The air filter for your HVAC system plays a major part of keeping your A/C bills low and your system running dependably. Some experts suggest that you check and change it monthly, while others suggest changing it every three months. Because the filter is so important, it’s better to treat it flexibly and change it when it needs it, regardless of what the calendar says.
The Role of Weather
Your cooling system will run for longer periods and more frequently when the weather is warmer. Some summers are cooler than others, but the Bay area is no stranger to long heat waves and areas inland are consistently warmer than coastal regions. The filter only traps dust when the HVAC system runs, and if it runs frequently, it should be checked more often.
What’s in the Air?
Even if you keep your windows closed during the summer, the air indoors may be full of lint, dust, pollen and human and pet dander. Carpeting and fabric window coverings generate airborne particles, as do your clothes and upholstered furniture. If you have a high particulate load, check and change the filter more often.
Filter Quality Makes a Difference
An inexpensive fiberglass air filter will clog faster because it has less surface area than the more expensive pleated filters. The money you save using fiberglass filters may cost you more in the long run because you’ll have to change them more often, and they don’t trap as many harmful particles that hurt your system as higher quality filters do.
Before upgrading the filter, however, check with your HVAC contractor or the owner’s manual to find the best type of filter for your system. Better filters have higher density and choosing one that’s too dense will slow the amount of air going through the air handler that can harm your system.
Prioritizing air filter inspections does make a difference in system performance, your overall comfort and energy bills. To learn more, contact Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical or call us at (408) 868-5500. We provide trusted HVAC services for South Bay and Peninsula and Santa Cruz homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).