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8 Reasons Why You Might Have a Dirty HVAC Filter

HVAC filters are essential for preserving indoor air quality and maximizing the efficiency of HVAC systems. These filters protect against airborne particles, attracting pollutants, dust, and allergies and keeping them from entering indoor spaces through the HVAC system. Since these filters play a significant role in lowering allergens and extending the life of HVAC equipment, it is essential to comprehend their significance in maintaining a cleaner and more comfortable environment.

The primary cause of an unproductive HVAC system that isn’t adequately heating and cooling your house could be a dirty HVAC filter. In addition to wasting additional energy to keep your home cozy, a dirty HVAC filter will make your HVAC system work harder than it has to.

Let’s explore 8 reasons why you might have a dirty HVAC filter and how you can ensure a healthy HVAC system:

  1. Inexpensive Filters

The efficiency of each air filter is indicated by its (MERV) which stands for Minimum efficiency reporting value. High MERV air filters are incredibly efficient, while lower MERV filters are less effective. Many low-cost filters must be changed frequently to function alongside more expensive ones.

Fiberglass filters that are inexpensive usually only last 30 days or less. Make sure to pick an HVAC filter with a high MERV rating to ensure that the HVAC filter runs smoothly and the air quality in your home remains healthy.

  1. Dusty Home

It may seem insignificant, but high dust levels in your house will cause your air filters to get dirty much more quickly. Dust and debris heavily present on the surface of return vents will be drawn to the ducts and eventually into the filters. If you regularly see dust on AC vents, it’s a common telltale sign of a dusty house. For all the dust to stay off your filters, you should dust and clean your home as routine AC repair.

Also, when performing any AC installation, ensure it is done in a closed room with fewer opportunities for dust to enter, preventing dirty HVAC filters.

  1. Pets At Home

The fur of your dog or cat can quickly clog the air filter and lead to a dirty HVAC filter. Therefore, regular pet hair trimming is essential to avoid this issue, as it serves both hygienic and filtering purposes. In addition, you should regularly vacuum your home, paying particular attention to the carpets to prevent dirty HVAC filters and shield your loved ones from airborne illnesses.

  1. Infrequent HVAC Filter Changing

Generally, it would be best to replace dirty HVAC filters every two to three months, depending on whether you have indoor allergies or pets. Always use a printed calendar or the calendar app on your phone to keep track of the filter changes you make. The comfort level in your house will decrease unless you replace your air filter regularly.

If your cooling and heating equipment are used frequently, you should replace your filters regularly. If you live in an area with dust, you should change your dirty HVAC filters monthly during the peak cooling season.

  1. Severe Temperatures

As we’ve seen, when the fan is set to “Auto,” the system will only turn on when cooling or heating is necessary. However, the air conditioning system will nearly always run in extreme heat or cold.

Since there isn’t much you can do about the weather, you should shorten the time between air filter changes until the outside temperatures become more manageable to keep the HVAC filters operating at peak efficiency.

It is prudent to work with local professionals who understand local weather and its effects on HVAC systems. For example, if you’re from Jupiter or Stuart, it would be wise to call experts at Jupiter AC repair or air conditioning repair in Stuart, FL, as they would know weather-related HVAC issues and their corresponding solutions. 

  1. HVAC Fan

A fan is necessary for any air conditioning system because it forces the conditioned air to utilize the ducts to cool the house. The thermostat has two settings for the fans: “On” and “Auto.” When you set the fan to “Auto,” it will only circulate air when your home’s HVAC system is thoroughly heating or cooling it.

When the fan is turned “On,” the system will operate nonstop, constantly forcing air in your house to pass through the air filter. To prolong your air filter’s life and minimize the amount of air passing through it, turn the fan to “Auto” so that the HVAC filter doesn’t need to work constantly and only works when required.

  1. Air Duct Cleaning

In addition to bringing fresh air into various house rooms, return air ducts also gather stale air from multiple locations. The vents are typically prone to dust accumulation over time and cause dirty HVAC filters as dust is circulated repeatedly through the HVAC system.

The air ducts may also occasionally get rips or holes in them. For instance, spots caused by corrosion may allow more dust to gather in the ventilation system, resulting in particles and dust deposited on the air filter and choking it after a while.

  1. The Correct Filter Size     

If your filters are too small or the wrong size, they might clog up quickly. Tiny meshes in HVAC filters allow airborne pollutants to be trapped. However, using the wrong size of HVAC filter while cleaning the air in your home, the small filter meshes clog quickly, leading to an inefficient HVAC filter and progressively worsening air quality inside the house. 

Therefore, use HVAC filters according to the size of the HVAC systems to avoid getting frequently dirty HVAC filters.

Key Takeaways

In a nutshell, several factors, as discussed above, could cause dirty HVAC filters. High dust, pollen, or pet hair levels may speed up clogging and require frequent filter replacements. Poor ventilation or problems in the heating and cooling system may also be to blame for the accelerated accumulation of dirt.

Maintaining the best efficiency and indoor air quality still requires routine maintenance, and HVAC repair 101 dictates replacing or cleaning filters at recommended intervals. In addition to increasing the life of your HVAC system, locating and resolving the particular causes of rapid filter contamination will also make your home healthier and more productive.

If you’re living in South Florida and facing HVAC issues, air conditioning issues, plumbing issues, or electrical issues of any kind, contact Miranda Home Services today. We’ve been in business for over 40 years and provide most of our work with warranties. We’re a highly rated, highly trusted bunch of professionals focused on delivering the best service to our customers. Get in touch today.

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