8 out of 10 people have issues with dust mites and other allergens within the home. An easy way to combat this is by paying particular attention to your air filter and avoiding mistakes. Whether you're aware or not, your home has an air filter that helps to keep your air quality in pristine condition.
Unfortunately, many homeowners, while aware of the air filter, make several mistakes by accident. We're here to share the most common air filter mistakes you can make as a homeowner and provide you with some tips to avoid making these errors.
1. Installing the Filter Incorrectly
Not installing a filter the right way can happen to anyone, especially if there is no indication on the air filter that says "this side up." Sometimes it's hard to find; almost all air filters have red arrows on them.
Avoiding improper installation is easy. First, you must locate the arrow and insert the filter facing the furnace away from the air duct. When the filter is the wrong way, it won't stop particles from polluting the air flowing through your home.
2. Skipping Inspections
How will you know that your system needs repairs if you don't have regular air filtration system inspections? Most homeowners assume that you don't need to have appliances around your home inspected because there are no signs of issues.
In HVAC systems, regular HVAC maintenance and inspections will help prevent unnecessary issues. Therefore, we recommend that you schedule an annual review with your local HVAC system company.
They will know what signs to look for that you may have some issues arise later down the road, and they'll have the expertise to fix it.
3. Not Changing the Air Filter
Out of sight, out of mind. Changing air filters is something that many can easily forget to do. When you don't change your air filter, you might begin to notice that your electric bill is rising without knowing what the cause is.
The electrical bill rises because your HVAC system has to work harder to pump the air effectively throughout the home. In addition, air filters catch the dust particles and other allergens before they make it into your air supply.
Without cleaning or changing the air filter, these particles become lodged in the filter stopping the fresh air from getting through. Several factors affect how often you need to change your air filter.
Factors that can change how frequently you change your air filter include:
- Young Children
- HVAC system daily usage
- Allergies of people in the home
If you have children with persistent allergies, you're going to want to change your filter more often. However, if you're not using your system daily, you won't have to check the filter as often as you would if you were using it daily.
4. Not Getting the Right Filter Size
There are many air filter sizes that you can choose from; the mistake happens when you don't get the air filter that fits but use it anyway. We recommend taking the existing one out and carrying it to the store with you before replacing your air filter.
This way, you can ensure that you find one that matches the one that you already have. If you purchase a too big filter for the air system, you're going to have to force it in.
This compromises the integrity of the filter and affects the way that it works. For example, if you choose a too-small filter, all the allergens you want to be caught won't be seen.
5. Not Stocking Up On Filters
We aren't saying to go out and buy all the filters that the store stocks, but you need more than one. It's a given that at some point, you will need to change the air filter. Therefore it's best if you have more than one on hand.
Depending on the store that you purchase your filters from, if you are buying them in bulk, you'll be able to save more money in the long run than if you bought one at a time. And it's applicable on days where you don't feel like going to the store to get one.
6. Running the Unit While Changing Your Filter
It doesn't take long to take one filter out and replace it with the new one. So our next mistake that homeowners make is to run the air filtration system while making the filter changes.
This might not seem like a big deal, but depending on the unit you have, it can leave you in for quite a shock. For example, some air systems feature a series of wires at the front of the system.
If the unit is still running when you attempt to make the filter change, you risk being shocked while opening the front gate. For this reason, we recommend you turn the system completely off before changing your air filter.
7. Not Following the System Notifications
With smart homes on the rise, more systems will offer alerts when making a change. Another common mistake you want to avoid is ignoring the notifications the system gives you.
It's notifying you for a reason to let you know that your filter isn't good anymore and needs to be changed. Not taking this time to change the filter could leave you with poor air quality, triggering a host of other issues.
These notifications are helpful because, as we stated before, it's easy to forget about your air filter and that it needs to be changed.
What Types of Filters are There?
There is more than one type of air filter that you need to know about. Each has its own sets of pros and cons.
The different types of filters include:
- UV light filter
- Washable filter
- Spun glass filter
- HEPA filter
- Pleated filter
- Electrostatic filter
Knowing about each of these filters will ensure that you choose what will work the best for your home.
UV filters utilize ultraviolet waves to ensure that viruses are killed before polluting the air flowing through your home. The waves that the filter uses are known as germicidal radiation.
This is the great thing about this type of filter because it improves your home's indoor air quality. The downside to using this filter is that it's on the more expensive end than filters go.
While it does kill certain forms of bacteria, it doesn't kill all the ones that are commonly found in the home.
Washable filters are also known as reusable filters, which helps when you don't constantly purchase filters. When you're using this type of air filter, you've got to think about how it will pay off in the long run because it lasts for many years before it has to be replaced.
While only having to make a one-time purchase is one of these filters' many benefits, some downsides. If you don't perform frequent maintenance, you run the risk of damaging the filter.
When you're cleaning it, we recommend letting it dry completely. If you don't let the filter dry after the washing process, you run the risk of bacteria and mold growing on it.
Electrostatic filters use a magnetic force to attract particulates and capture them within the folds of the filter. This is beneficial because once these particles are caught in the filter, you can rest assured that it's not floating around in your home.
It increases the air and reduces the risks of people within the home having issues with their allergies. This is one of the most effective options on our lists of filters as far as cost efficiency is concerned.
The issue is that this filter might have problems catching and holding onto larger dust. In addition, if you or someone in your home frequently experiences respiratory infections or illnesses, this filter may not be the way to go.
Air Filter Mistakes to Avoid
Not only did we list some of the most common air filter mistakes to avoid above, but we also listed some of the air filter types that you have to choose from. It's all about finding the filter that works for you to ensure that your home's air quality remains at a high level.
Suppose your air filtration system needs repairs or air filter maintenance. Schedule a service call with Crystal Heating & Cooling. We started this business in 1965 and have been making sure that your home remains comfortable ever since.
Looking for HVAC coupons to save on your next A/C unit or even furnace?
HVAC Maintenance Plan
Want two preventative maintenance visits per year AND VIP treatment on any repair service?