As a homeowner, you do your best to keep the inside of your home clean and comfortable. One of the most important factors in your quest to do this includes your HVAC system. There’s nothing better than clean air blowing into your home and finding that “just right” temperature. But did you know a dirty filter can affect the air in your home and the health of your system? It requires routine changing, but it might be difficult to know the best time to do it. Here are some telltale signs your air filter needs to be replaced:
Plenty of Dust
Depending on your cleaning habits and where you live, you might dust your home once a week. If your air filter is dirty, you’ll notice that dust accumulates much faster on your surfaces. If you find yourself breaking out the duster more often, it’s likely because the device is not functioning as it should.
In general, bad smells in your home are not a good sign. When it comes to your vents, a dirty filter can cause a musty scent or even a burning smell to penetrate through your home when your furnace or air conditioning comes on. This fiery smell is caused by the motors, fans, and other components of your HVAC system working harder to push the air throughout your home.
HVAC systems are designed to allow for ample airflow to all the rooms in your house. A clean air filter means this can be done easily, but a dirty one is unable to pull as much air through the passages. Reduced airflow also means you might notice your home isn’t as warm or cool as you would like it to be.
Indoor Allergy Symptoms
The great outdoors is home to many allergy triggers that can cause running noses and itchy eyes. The air filter in your home is specially designed to sift out those particles, so you don’t have to suffer the same symptoms inside. However, if you find yourself reaching for your allergy medication behind a closed front door, the device likely needs to be changed.
Higher Energy Bills
A clean filter allows your HVAC system to work efficiently. A grimy one will force the system to turn on more frequently and even stay on for longer as it tries to maintain the same temperature and airflow. Compare your last two or three energy bills to see if there is any significant difference; you might be surprised with what you find.
Failing the White Sheet Test
If you suspect your air filter needs to be replaced, you can conduct a quick and easy experiment to see if your theory is correct. The white sheet test is done by hanging a clean, white sheet about five inches away from your vents for one or two hours. If you come back and the sheet is covered in grey particles or even black specks, it’s an indication that your filter is quite dirty and even directly shows you the kind of air it is currently expelling.
Keeping the atmosphere in your home fresh and clean is easy with routine replacements of your air filter. While many recommend referring to the manual of your HVAC system to better understand the right times to change this device, it is important that you are aware of the signs we have listed to ensure you are changing it at times that are appropriate for your home. At Power Vac, we are passionate about indoor air quality. If you need your air ducts clean or simply have questions about when is the right time to change your air filter, please contact us.