Changing your home’s air filter regularly can help extend the life of your cooling and heating system. This is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to help keep your family cool during the summer. At Hal Watson AC, we try to provide The Woodlands area with the knowledge to make informed decisions regarding their home’s HVAC system.

Why is it important to change out a home’s air filter?

Air is circulated throughout your home. What comes out of your vents is related to what goes in. Dust, bacteria and various other contaminants are prevented from entering your ductwork by filtering them at the intake area. A dirty filter will restrict airflow to your system and will cause it to strain to keep your home cool during the summer or warm during the winter. Not only does it cost you more money to run your air conditioning, but ultimately, your system can fail due to bad air flow. Therefore, it is a money-saving task to replace your air filter regularly.

How often should you change out your filter?

It is recommended that you change out your air filter every 90 days or three months. This is a general rule that can be affected by where you live, the age of your unit and whether or not you have pets. A rule of thumb is to visually inspect your air filter once a month. It is better to err on the side of caution when replacing your air filter. If the filter looks dirty, go ahead and change out the filter. Filters are relatively inexpensive and are a great investment in extending the life of your system.

How much can you save from consistantly changing out your air filter?

According to the Department of Energy the average household spends around $2,200 a year on its energy bill. Not only that, but between 30-50% of your energy bill is spent on your HVAC system. That is a large amount of energy dedicated to keeping your family comfortable. It is estimated that you can save between 5-15% from regular filter replacements. For the average household, that could mean a savings of up to $330 per year. In addition to the yearly energy savings, preventing your system from failing could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. That is a pretty good return on investment from relatively inexpensive filters.

What is the best type of filter to purchase?

Air filters for your home are easy to find and vary in price. Home improvement stores like Home Depot, Lowes, as well as local stores like Walmart and Target normally have air filters to purchase. You can also purchase air filters online from various sources including Amazon. In addition to various sizes to choose from, there are also different levels of filtration. The industry standard air filter rating system of Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) shows what MERV number is right for your home.

  • MERV 1 to MERV 4: Pollen, dust mites, standing dust, spray paint dust and carpet fibers.
  • MERV 5 to MERV 8: Mold spores, hair spray, dust mites, animal dander and cement dust.
  • MERV 9 to MERV 12: Humidifier dust, lead dust, auto emissions and milled flour.
  • MERV 13 to MERV 16: Household dust and pollen, pet dander, outdoor pollution, mold spores, microscopic allergens, bacteria, most tobacco smoke, sneeze bacteria and virus carriers.