For homeowners everywhere, the HVAC filter for your furnace and air conditioning units is vital for the quality of your home’s air. Designed to trap particles of varying sizes before they enter your airstream and cause issues ranging from mild aggravation all the way up to severe exacerbation of respiratory issues, these filters often make the difference between a comfortable and uncomfortable living experience.
At Expert Plumbing, we’re here to help with all HVAC issues, including any filter questions or concerns you have. These filters, available in a wide quality and price range at your local home improvement store, will generally come with basic recommendations on how often they should be changed (usually around once a month or once every two months, but this can vary). But what happens if you regularly notice your filters clogging up faster than the recommended time period? Here are some of the possible causes of this that might indicate you should be changing filters out more often.
Pets and Dander
One of the top contributors to filters that clog faster than normal is pets, particularly dogs and cats who shed regularly. The hair and dander present on these animals may not appear to go anywhere after it virtually disappears into thin air – but that’s because it’s actually often going to the filter, many of which are designed to collect this material. To help your filters out here, try to dust, vacuum and sweep your home regularly if you have pets.
If you’ve recently had contractors in your home or any kind of renovation work taking place, this may have increased the quantity of dust in the home. This, in turn, will add to the stress on your filter.
During these periods, clear the home as often as you can. Take special care around your various vents and registers, which will collect pockets of dust and debris.
Virtually all home thermostats will have two settings: ON and AUTO. At nearly all times, yours should be set to AUTO – this will turn it on whenever the HVAC system is actively pumping heat or cool air into your vents, but not otherwise.
If the fan is constantly left ON, however, it will simply run all the time. This will circulate more air than usual around the home and through your filters, allowing them to pick up a greater number of particles and fill up faster. Unless you have a specific reason for doing so, we recommend avoiding leaving the fan on.
If your ducts have holes or any other kinds of leaks, air can be sucked in from places like your attic or basement. Once again, these can cause strain issues as more air passes through your filter than it’s expecting.
Improper Filter Choice
Finally, you might simply be using the wrong filter if yours is constantly dirty soon after being installed. As we noted above, there are various filter options out there, including those that filter for many more particles than others. You might be buying options that are too cheap and not meant to last.
For more on reasons why your filter might be clogging faster than expected, or to learn about any of our HVAC or plumbing services, speak to the staff at Expert Plumbing today.