7 Questions About Air Filters

What You Need to Know About Air Filters and Clean Air For Your Home

Cache Valley Inversion bringing smoke and smog down into the valleyIn a previous article, I brought up how it was time to be preparing for the Cache Valley inversion. While I mentioned air duct cleaning and air purifiers, I didn’t bring up air filters on our HVAC systems. According to Easy Breezy Ducts, an air duct cleaning company in Cache Valley, a lot of people have questions about the air filters. Here are some of the most common questions they see.

Air Filter FAQs

1. Does the Air Filter Improve Air Quality?

Yes, air filters do improve the air quality in your home; however, to keep seeing results, air filters need to be regularly changed.

2. How Often Do I Need To Change My Filters?

The exact time varies depending on the size and type of filter you use. Typically, you should change them every three months. Some of Easy Breezy’s customers report that after having their ducts cleaned, they can stretch that out by as much as six months, but they don’t recommend this. Once the filter fills up, it will start pumping the dust build-up into your house and stress the HVAC, so sticking with the three month recommendation is always advised.

3. What Filter Should I Get?

Unless you’re prone to allergies, they recommend the cheaper filters as a cost saving measure. While the more expensive filters may catch more allergens, the thicker size will require the HVAC to work harder, which can shorten its lifespan. Filters with electrostatic charges are also advised, as the charge will cause materials to cling to the filter instead of passing through gaps, making it more effective.

4. Can I Use a Smaller Filter For a Larger Space?

If the filter can fit into the space and stay in place, you can use it, but this isn’t recommended. If the filter isn’t the right size for your HVAC system, it will not be as effective.

5. Can I Clean Out and Reuse My Air Filter?

The answer depends on the type of air filter you buy. Disposable air filters cannot be cleaned and should be thrown out once they’ve reached their limit. There are reusable air filters that can be cleaned, but each cleaning reduces its effectiveness over time. It’s usually cheaper and more efficient to simply buy the disposable ones.

6. How Do I Know What Way The Filter Should Face?

There are arrows on the air filter that indicate the direction air should flow through it. If there’s any confusion, it should come with an instruction manual to show you how.

dirty air ducts need cleaning7. Can Air Filters Replace Air Duct Cleaning

No. Air filters are good for catching particulate pollution that is blown through the ducts, but heavier sediments will sink to the bottom. Over time, they accumulate, causing the duct to clog up. Fortunately, this takes considerably more time than it does for a filter to get dirty, so you should only need to clean your air ducts once every three years as long as the filters are doing their job.

Bonus Tip: Get A Yearly Tune-Up on Your HVAC

Don’t forget to give your HVAC a tune-up once a year. While the air filters will filter out dust, pet-dander and other pollutants, it doesn’t get everything. Furthermore, when you run your furnace, it produces carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas. If something goes wrong, this gas might get pumped into your air ducts. There are also other problems your HVAC system might have which simply cleaning the ducts and changing the filters won’t address.

Before you start regularly using your furnace to heat your homes this winter, you should make sure that you have your HVAC tuned and inspected. This will make sure you have nothing to worry from fire hazards, carbon monoxide poisoning, or other problems. Between this, regularly changing your filters, and a good air duct cleaning, you should be good to have the best quality air in your home over the course of this year’s winter inversion.