Indoor air quality is crucial, especially with the shift to spending more time at home due to the pandemic. With a lot of us still working from home or hybrid, it’s paramount that our homes are safe, healthy spaces. This means your HVAC system is more important than ever.
When working properly, your HVAC system keeps your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It has a filter that captures pollutants such as dust, dander, debris, mold, and viruses.
Indoor air could be more harmful than outdoor air, and with the amount of time we spend at home, it’s crucial we have the correct filter. Pollutants can contribute to the air quality throughout your home.
In addition, if a family member has allergies or asthma, your filter is especially important. The question is how to keep your Carrier air filter lasting for as long as possible.
How Long Should an Air Filter Last?
The recommended time to change Carrier air filters is every 30 to 60 days to ensure that you keep your HVAC intact. However, consider any individual with allergies or asthma living in your home.
Studies show that we spend most of our time indoors. The following groups may be especially susceptible to poor indoor air quality:
- Those with long-term illnesses
- Allergy sufferers
- Those with respiratory issues
As microparticles, pollutants, and gases are released into the air, they drastically affect indoor air quality. When you live in a closed environment, air quality is crucial. If you can open a door or window, it’s advisable so you can let in some fresh air from outside.
Pollutant levels increase if your indoor space is exposed to high temperatures and humidity. Humidity causes parts of the air conditioner to become wet, and the water causes dirt and dust to clog your filter faster.
Factors that Affect the Lifespan of Air Filters
There are many factors that can reduce the lifespan of your filter. If you are a smoker, air filters get clogged far more quickly. Smoking outside can extend the life of the filter, but it may still be shorter than that in the home of a nonsmoker.
If you enjoy cooking, you could see if you are able to install an extractor fan in the kitchen, which will reduce the smells that could pollute your home. You could also go green with your cleaning products, which will ensure there are fewer pollutants in the air and allow your air filter to last longer. If opening the windows and doors is not possible, you should consider that your filter may not last the full 60 days.
Asthma and Allergies
If people in your household suffer from asthma or allergies, keeping your filter for longer than 30 days isn’t always possible. This is all dependent on how badly the person suffers. It’s advisable to replace the filter monthly, as any longer could trigger allergy or asthma symptoms.
When selecting air filters from Carrier, you should opt for a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of 12 to 16, which will assist in removing more particles from the air.
Our little furry friends are important family members. However, they can affect the air quality. Even if your filter should last 90 days, it may be reduced due to the following:
- The size of your animal
- The type of fur or hair they have
- How many you own
As your pet roams around the house freely, they leave their fur and dander all over. Furthermore, they bring dirt, dust, and bacteria into your home. If you own more than one animal, you should consider replacing your filter once a month.
Frequency of Use
If you live in an area where you don’t need to turn on your air conditioning or heating much, then you won’t need to clean it as often. This also applies to any vacation homes or rentals you may own. This is because it isn’t functioning all day, and people and animals aren’t living there. That means dust and other pollutants aren’t clogging the filter as easily.
Signs It’s Time to Replace the Filter
If a family member notices their asthma is worse than usual, it’s advisable to change your filter. Even family members without other health conditions can notice symptoms if the air is not properly filtered.
Also, you should do a visual check of your home. If you notice your house seems much dustier than usual, it could be due to a clogged filter. Moreover, listen out for unusual sounds and look at your air ducts to see if anything is obstructing them.
Ways to Prolong the Lifespan
Pick the Right Filter
By choosing the right filter for your HVAC and lifestyle, you can ensure that it lasts. If you live alone or with just another person, a flat fiberglass filter will work perfectly for you, provided neither of you have allergies or asthma. They are reasonably priced.
Nonetheless, they can’t guarantee to block allergens such as pollen, dust, pet dander, viruses, and bacteria. Professionals in the business can assess your living arrangements and provide a filter that will suit your needs.
The pleated filter structure allows the filter to capture the smaller particles and is more durable. This makes a better choice for those with allergies. Pleated filters come in a recyclable or biodegradable option, making them an eco-friendly product.
While this might sound counterintuitive to prolonging the lifespan of your filter, it makes a lot of sense. When you don’t change your filters often enough, you expose your home to dirt, dust, and other pollutants. This eventually builds up and affects the HVAC system and decreases its efficiency. A deficient system uses filters more quickly.
If you opt for reusable filters, they are beneficial for the planet. However, you have to remember to wash them and wait for them to be fully dry before replacing them. This can be challenging during the summer months. Make a note in your calendar to remember when you last cleaned your filters.
Clean Clean Clean
If you or your family have allergies, it’s vital to maintain a clean and tidy home. This ensures that you have taken the precautions to keep your filter in peak condition. Deep cleaning is especially important if you have carpets.
Carpets retain dust, allergens, and other particles. Wooden floors are easy to maintain and keep clean, which is useful if you own a pet. If you love carpets, it’s worth getting a deep clean every six months to a year to ensure your house is clean.
Furthermore, clean the ducts of your HVAC system. This includes the grilles, registers, and air ducts. When you clean out the air duct, the air can flow better. This also improves its quality. Additionally, it will make your home more efficient, and you may even notice savings on your energy bills!