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June 21, 2021
At Pippin Brothers, we get a ton of inquiries from homeowners in Lawton, OK about home air filter replacement. The air filter is often overlooked because of where the air filter is located: buried deep in the heating and cooling system. However, we can’t stress just how important it is to pay attention to how clean your air filters are: if your filters do not capture the contaminants in your home’s air, your lungs will.
Replacing your air filter regularly is one of the most important, yet commonly overlooked ways to boost home performance, efficiency and safety.
An air filter has several jobs:
Protect your heating and cooling equipment:
Keep your heating and cooling equipment clean
Maintain a safe, clean, and healthy living environment
Protect the people living in the home from harmful contaminants
Not sure where to start? Here’s a primer on the basics of air filters and why they’re worth your attention.
How to Change the Air Filter in Your House
Changing an air filter is a relatively easy task that you have probably watched someone else complete without even realizing it. The first step is to locate your air filter, which should be located where your central heating and cooling is, or just inside one of your intake vents.
After you have located your air filter, pull it out and take note of the filter size and efficiency rating (MERV 8 or higher recommended)number before you purchase a new filter to ensure you have the right replacement. Then simply put the new filter in place of the old one!
How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?
Each filter manufacturer has different recommendations for how often filters should be changed - usually between every 30 and 90 days. However, there are other factors at play that can make your air filters clogged and dirty before their recommended replacement, including people and pet activity and frequent opening of windows and doors. Keep an eye out for some of these dirty air filter symptoms in your house:
Dirt and dust buildup on your air vents
Decreased airflow from your furnace or AC
Higher heating and cooling costs
The Benefits of Replacing Your Air Filter
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to replace your air filter, you may not know about how beneficial it can be to do so. Here are just a few of the benefits associated with switching out your air filter, all of which can help to make life at home safer and more comfortable:
Enhanced Indoor Air Quality — Filter your air to provide a healthier and safer environment for you and your family.
Increased Efficiency — An air filter loaded with contaminants will never benefit your home’s efficiency. Replace it, and you can expect to save on heating and cooling bills.
Longer Equipment Lifespan — No one wants to replace a heating and cooling system before it’s necessary, yet a dirty air filter can lead to early breakdown. Keep the filter clean, and your equipment will have a much better chance of lasting for many years to come.
Boosted Indoor Comfort — Our HVAC systems are supposed to keep us comfortable year-round, yet when filters are clogged, they have a hard time keeping up. You can expect a marked boost in comfort levels the moment you replace your air filter.
Types of Air Filters
It helps to know what types of filters are available to choose from. These include:
Fiberglass Filters — The most common type of disposable filter, consisting of fiberglass layers that are reinforced by a metal grate in order to filter airborne particles. Capable of capturing less than 20% of particulate 3.0 microns or larger. Replace every 30 to 90 days.
Polyester/Pleated Filters — Similar to fiberglass, but with greater surface area to capture more particulate. Capable of capturing 20-85% of particulate 3.0 microns or larger depending on thickness. Also, very effective for smaller particulate. The larger surface area due to the pleats usually leads to a higher resistance to airflow, which can impact comfort and efficiency provided by the system if the ductwork is not modified to compensate. Replace every 30 to 90 days.
HEPA Filters — HEPA filters are much finer than others, capable of filtering 99.7% of particles larger in size than 3 microns. The most effective for smaller particulate. Contact your service provider to replace cartridges.
Washable Filters — These filters are not as common as others and are typically reserved for commercial applications. Capable of capturing less than 20% of particulate 3.0 microns or larger and not recommended for residential applications. Wash and let air dry before replacing.
Electronic Air Cleaners — These devices come in a variety of styles with varying capabilities and are powered by electricity. Capable of capturing 75-95% of particulate 3.0 microns or larger. Also, very effective for smaller particulate. The filtering apparatus typically has to be cleaned or changed once or twice annually. See your service provider for details.
Expert Tip: Every month when you get your utility bill, use it as a reminder to check your filter.
The team at Pippin can help you to determine which type of filter is right for your heating and cooling system, no matter how new or old it is.