Studies show that people spend an average of 90% of their time indoors . With all that time inside, you want to make your environment as comfortable and healthy as possible. Two factors impact how often you should change your filters and the type of filter you should use: the health of your HVAC system but, more importantly, the health of your family.
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors recommends home air filters be changed at least every three months . The frequency of needed air filter changes will vary between households. Those that suffer from allergies, asthma and other respiratory issues, as well as those with pets and small children, are encouraged to replace their home air filters more often.
Check your filters regularly to see how dirty they get over the span of three months—if you notice that they are getting choked with dust and debris prior to the three-month mark, consider adjusting your schedule to change them more frequently.
There are a number of reasons for regular air filter changes in your home, but arguably the most important is the effect that indoor air quality has on your health. In fact, research has found that poor air quality is the root cause behind 94% of respiratory diseases . Mold spores, airborne bacteria, toxic fumes, vehicle emissions, pet dander and other pollutants may all be present in your home’s air and the best way to keep them at bay is simply to keep your air filters fresh and clean.
Clogged filters can become damp, leading to mold growth that can be spread through the home by your HVAC system. In addition to compromising your HVAC unit, it can require expensive servicing and, in extreme cases, replacement. Mold exposure can lead to serious illnesses and even death.
In a study of more than 1,600 patients suffering from health issues related to mold exposure, patients experienced serious medical problems, including:
- Shortness of breath
- Headache, anxiety, depression and memory loss
- Immune system disturbances
- Muscle/joint pain
- Gastrointestinal problems
A clean filter ensures smooth air flow throughout your HVAC system. If your filter is covered in filth, it will block the airflow which reduces the efficiency of your HVAC system. That can mean increased energy costs and decreased efficiency for your HVAC system.
You want to maximize the efficiency of your A/C and heating system. That’s mainly accomplished through frequent filter changes to prevent dust from choking your system. More importantly, you want to protect your family from airborne health risks. Luckily, micro-allergen filters rated at MERV 10 or 11 will clean the air of the most common household pollutants, including mold spores, without compromising your airflow like thicker filters can.
Home air filters live in places that are hidden from view, and out-of-sight usually means out-of-mind. Many homeowners have a hard time remembering when they last changed filters or even what size they need. By setting up automated deliveries of the filters you need, your chances of following through with a schedule that protects both your health and your system will be secured.