The filter is important to check on a regular basis. If you have seasonal allergies, your nose has already confirmed that summer is in full swing. With flowers blooming and trees budding, pollen, and then later mold, are sure to set your sinuses on edge. When it comes to this time of year, it’s important to change out your HVAC air filter as you prepare for heavy AC use when temperatures rise. Did you also know that changing your HVAC air filter more regularly can help you nip those seasonal allergies in the bud as you keep your indoor air clean and fresh? If you’ve been wondering if changing your air filter makes that much of a difference, then keep reading as we answer 4 questions about changing your air filter and your allergies.

Question # 1: What does your HVAC air filter do?

Your air filter is an important part of your HVAC system. Whether you are heating or cooling, air is forced through your vents and into your home. Your air and heat will pass through your air filter before reaching your living spaces – filtering out dust, allergens, and bacteria to keep your family breathing comfortably all year long.

Question # 2: Why is changing your filter important?

Your air filter can help in 3 ways. Air filters can help by keeping dust, pollen, mold, and mildew from entering the air in your home – leaving your allergy sufferers with clean fresh air and less symptoms. Your air filter also keeps your HVAC equipment clean. When your filter gets dirty and dusty, dirt and grime can end up coating your cooling coils and other internal equipment, which then forces your HVAC system to work harder to produce the same temperatures in your home. Your filter can also help keep bacteria and other viruses from entering through the air in your home.

Question # 3: How often should you change your filter?

Once you’re convinced that it’s important to change your air filter, the next obvious question is how often do I need to change it. The short answer is it depends. If you live alone, have no pets, and no allergies, then changing your filter 2 times per year should do the trick. If you live with others and have pets, most manufacturers recommend changing your filter every 2-3 months. If you or someone in your family suffers from severe allergies, we recommend changing your filter every 45-50 days.

Question # 4: What kind of filter do you need?

If you’ve been to your local home improvement store lately, you may have noticed that you have a lot of choices when it comes to filters. In general, a high-efficiency filter can provide some relief for allergies, but will cost more than a basic filter. It’s also important to note that a high-efficiency filter will help keep pollen and allergens out of your home, but won’t necessarily save you in energy costs.

As far as what kind of filter you need, it depends on factors like the severity of allergies, how many people live in your house, and if pet dander is an issue. Filters are most commonly rated in MERV ratings (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values). A higher MERV rating isn’t always better for people who have no allergies. For example, a filter with a MERV 1 rating will filter particles the size of dust bunnies, but a filter with a MERV 16 rating will filter particles as small as .3 microns. Most manufacturers recommend a MERV 11 rating for those with allergies, but you’ll want to do your research to ensure your indoor air is fresh and clean all year long.

Once you answer these 4 questions, you’re ready to get started on a regular schedule for replacing your HVAC air filter for cleaner air and less allergy symptoms. If it’s been a while since you’ve changed your filter or you don’t know where to start, we’d love to help. Call our office to schedule a maintenance appointment where our trained technicians can inspect your current filter and make recommendations for a filter that’s right for your home.