How Often Should You Change Your Ruud Furnace Air Filter?
“I only change my Ruud furnace filter when it looks dirty.” Although this is a common assumption of how to know when to replace a furnace filter, it is not good advice. If you can see a build-up of particulates on your filter then it should have most likely already been replaced. A dirty filter not only reduces the efficiency of your furnace but more importantly, negatively impacts the quality of the air you and your family breathe.
But how do you know when to change your filter? The correct answer is: it depends. Many manufacturers recommend that you change your furnace filter every three months. But this is only meant as a guideline. As you might have guessed, every household is different.
A variety of factors may determine how often you change your filter. They include the type of filter, specific conditions in the home, and furnace usage patterns, to name just a few.
How Often Should I Change My Air Filter?
The required change-out frequency varies with filter type, unit location, and other environmental factors. For residential applications, standard disposable polyester or pleated air filters should at least be checked every 3 months. Often after that length of time, a filter will require a change, however environmental factors such as pet hair, heavy foot traffic in your home, and tobacco smoke can decrease the life of your filter; requiring a more frequent change.
For higher efficiency filters or other types of media air cleaner, the life can range from 6 months to over 1 year. Commercial applications have an even broader spectrum of change-out frequencies. Air filters in restaurants are commonly changed every 4 to 8 weeks depending on the customer traffic and filter type. Retail chains, strip malls, and other small businesses vary, but usually are in need of a change every 12 weeks.
Industrial facilities, depending on the nature of their business, often require a filter change-out every week. Plants with heavy smoke, soot, and other airborne contaminants require a massive filtration system, and with all the pollutants in the air, the filters can quickly become saturated. For a free frequency recommendation, please contact NOVA Heating and Air Conditioning.
Do Dirty Air Filters Really Increase My Utility Costs?
Yes! As your air filters get dirty, they begin to restrict the air flowing through the unit. This causes the HVAC unit to work harder to maintain a sufficient air flow. Because your unit is working harder and longer, it is using more electricity, which over time can dramatically increase your utility costs. In addition, dirt acts as an insulator disrupting the heat transfer of the air flowing through the unit. Call NOVA Heating and Air Conditioning to have your filters changed today!
This also causes your unit to work harder, which uses more electricity. There is an optimum time to change any air filter; which is when it has reached its maximum efficiency with out becoming restrictive. By changing your filters on a regular schedule, you really can save money on your utility costs, and help promote a cleaner environment.
Not regularly changing your air filters can also lead to costly mechanical breakdowns. Keeping your air filters clean is truly the most cost effective way to maintain your expensive HVAC equipment, and a cleaner environment for your family, friends, and co-workers.
If you have a forced air heating system, check your furnace’s blower compartment and blower coils. Vacuum them if you see dirt and dust there. You should also check the fan belt tension, and lubricate the fan and motor bearings.
If you have a steam system, check the shut-off valve for leaks.
Bleed hot water system radiators at least once a year.
Don’t keep clutter near your furnace. It’s a fire hazard, and may keep your system from operating efficiently.
To make sure you’re getting the most out of your heating system, keep the heating registers and vents throughout the house free of dust, dirt, and pet hair by vacuuming them at least once a year.
Listen for odd sounds when your heating or cooling system kicks in. If you hear anything unusual, get in touch with your service professional so you can head off problems before they become serious.
In winter months, set your ceiling fan at its slowest speed and reverse it in order to gently push warm air down from the ceiling without generating a breeze.
NOVA Heating and Air Conditioning says to show everyone in your family the location of the main shut off valve to your home as well as emergency shut-off valves for separate fixtures, particularly toilets, kitchen sinks and bathroom basins. Don’t see one? Consider installing these valuable devices to minimize flooding.
Keeping your HVAC system clean.
Getting your HVAC system inspected twice a year by NOVA Heating and Air Conditioning is the ideal situation for most people. This will allow for two important things to occur:
1) This will make sure your system is running effectively and efficiently and that no issues are apparent thus ensuring your system will work when needed.
2) It will ensure your system is clean of debris and in this case, mold/mildew formations and thus avoiding any of the potential health risks associated with mold/mildew.
3) Installing an air purification system into your HVAC system will greatly reduce, if not completely eliminate up mold, bacteria, odors, viruses, smoke and VOCs – leaving behind clean, fresh and odor free air.
Can mold cause health problems? Yes!
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing (in the case above, it’s the evaporator coil). Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common and the reactions can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.