All You Need to Know About Air Filters

FAQs About an HVAC System's Air Filters 

One of the more distressing facts that homeowners can learn is that the air inside their homes is drastically more polluted than the air outside their homes. Even in dusty deserts or smoggy inner cities, the air inside the home is often more polluted than outdoor air refreshed and circulated by the wind. 

The main reason that air inside the home is more polluted is because it is trapped inside the home. Air in the home is trapped, except for air exchange that occurs when doors and windows are opened and the tiny amount of leakage that occurs through cracks and unsealed openings. Every day, the same circulates the home, picking up more dust and chemicals on the journey. 

The one thing every owner has to help with poor indoor air quality is the air filter in their HVAC system. Here is a quick guide to help owners understand why clean air filters and air filtration are so important to the health of those in the home and the reliability of their HVAC system.  

What Does an Air Filter Do? 

The primary purpose of air filters is to keep the air conditioner's internal components clean from the contaminants in indoor air. When air is unfiltered, dust, mold spores, and volatile chemicals can stick to the evaporator coil and ductwork. Over the years, this grime continues to grow and will eventually cause major problems. Air filters ensure contaminants don't reach sensitive components in the central air conditioning system

As a bonus, air filters can also improve health. Since air filters remove pollutants before the air enters the AC and ductwork, clean air is distributed around the home when the system cycles. Using high-quality air filters to remove pollutants can drastically improve respiratory function by reducing allergies and sinus problems. 

When Should Air Filters Be Replaced? 

filterThe industry standard for air filter replacement is every three months. In the majority of homes, this rule of thumb will work to protect the central system as well as keep the air clean. However, other considerations may be needed. Some things that may require more frequent air filter changes are: 

  • The presence of pets and indoor plants in the home
  • Environmental dust such as dust kicked up from dry lots or roadways
  • Allergy sufferers that need extra filtration
  • Manufacturer's recommendation on higher-quality air filters

Why Should Air Filter Replacement Always Be Done on Time? 

saveThis schedule must be observed once the proper filter-changing interval is determined. Dirty air filters restrict airflow in the home, leading to big problems. First, restricted airflow will decrease comfort, making summer feel hotter and winters colder. This will cause owners to adjust the thermostat up or down to maintain comfort, but it will waste energy and contribute to higher monthly bills. 

Another great reason to always change air filters on time is for health. Fresh filters are exponentially more effective at reducing dust and pollutants than dirty air filters. This will allow people to breathe easier and reduce the amount of grime in air ducts over the years, keeping air cleaner on a broader scale. 

About 360 Air Tech

360 Air Tech can help owners struggling to manage poor indoor air quality. Their technicians can recommend the perfect filter and perform AC tune-ups to keep the system in great shape. Call today for AC service in Williamsburg, VA. 

Distribution Links +

Frequently Asked Questions About Air Ducts

What Is Ductwork, Anyway? 

Ductwork refers to a system of pipes or airways that distribute air throughout a building or residence. In layman’s terms, it’s how air travels from a centralized air conditioner to various parts of the house. Ductwork generally needs very little maintenance, and it can last years without showing any signs of degradation. 

However, like many parts of an HVAC system, air ducts occasionally run into problems. When that happens, homeowners should consult HVAC specialists focusing on indoor air quality. A quick and easy fix could distinguish a humid home from a comfortable summer paradise. 

How Long Does Ductwork Last? 

replacementAccording to the U.S. Department of Energy, ductwork lasts as long as the ducts. With occasional cleaning and maintenance, ductwork can last decades. However, it might be time to consider air duct cleaning, service, or repair if: 

  • There’s animal waste (such as rodent feces) inside the air ducts. Not only could this point to an infestation, but it could also compromise the air quality. 
  • There’s mold growth around the air vents. Mold thrives in dark, damp places. If there’s a leak inside the air duct, mold can grow, causing respiratory problems and affecting the AC system’s effectiveness. 
  • There’s excessive dust buildup. If an air duct gets perforated, this could cause hair, dust, and other particles to get trapped in the vent. This can prevent how airflow is distributed throughout the home. 

An HVAC specialist may inspect the AC system and recommend getting new ductwork based on their unique insights. They may also suggest replacing the AC system itself if it’s more than 15 years old. 

What Are Some Signs of Damaged Ductwork? 

Many homeowners never see the inside of their home’s air ducts. So, this makes knowing the signs of repair or replacement necessary. That’s because once a problem becomes evident, it’s likely been festering for quite some time. 

Some signs that may be time to replace the ductwork include the following: 

  • The home frequently has rodent or insect infestations
  • Airflow isn’t evenly distributed throughout the home, meaning some rooms feel warmer than others
  • The thermostat never gets to the desired temperature
  • The air duct vents look clogged or dirty

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) notes that the average Virginia homeowner spends about $130 a month on their energy bill. If one notices an unexplained increase, they should consult a professional. 

What Signs Call for Air Duct Cleaning? 

ductThe U.S. Department of Energy notes that homeowners can go years without having their air ducts cleaned. Yet, they may consider hiring a professional service if they notice the following: 

  • Visible dust or debris inside the air vent 
  • Poor indoor air quality 
  • Strong, musty odors 
  • Inconsistent airflow 
  • Visible mold or mildew growth 
  • Higher-than-usual energy bills 

If a homeowner has more problems than usual with their AC (such as air filters that need replacing within weeks), they should consult a professional. 

About 360 Air Tech 

With 360 Air Tech, AC problems make a 180. Not only are they proud community members of the Williamsburg community, but they offer same-day service with a smile. They also offer membership in their maintenance program. There’s a reason why these professionals have countless five-star reviews online. One can call today for ductwork services.