According to a Zebra survey, 29% of Americans never replace their home air filters while 82% don’t swap out their filter on a monthly basis. Zoinks. Neglected HVAC system and dirty air filters is the bad news. The good news? Maintaining clean air filters and a well-functioning HVAC system is easier than you might think. Let’s delve into 4 tips on how to clean air filters and HVAC systems to make sure you and your family breathe clean, healthy air.
1. Regularly Inspect and Replace Air Filters
The EPA recommends checking your air filters once a month and replacing them every 90 days, or more frequently if you have pets or allergy-sufferers in your home. Dirty air filters can become clogged with dust, pollen, pet dander, and other contaminants, reducing their efficiency in trapping airborne particles.
Replacing air filters is typically a straightforward process. First, turn off your HVAC system to ensure your safety. Next, locate the filter compartment, which is typically near the return air duct. Carefully remove the old filter and replace it with a new, high-quality filter. Make sure the filter is installed in the correct direction, with the airflow arrow pointing toward the blower motor. (This can be confusing. You might watch on online video tutorial if you’re unsure of the filter direction.)
2. Clean Air Ducts and Vents
Air ducts and vents can accumulate dust and debris over time, which can negatively impact your indoor air quality. To maintain clean air filters and an efficient HVAC system, it’s essential to periodically clean your air ducts and vents. While this can be time-consuming, it is important, and we recommend hiring a professional duct cleaning service to do this. It’d be great to do this once a year, especially if you see signs of mold or have pets in the home, but at minimum, every couple of years is a good idea.
3. Keep the HVAC System Clean
Cleaning the various components of your HVAC system can improve its efficiency and longevity. With the winter months approaching, and 29% of your utility bill going to heating, it’s a good time to ensure HVAC efficiency. You can begin by cleaning the exterior of the unit, removing any debris or vegetation that may have accumulated around it. Additionally, inspect the evaporator and condenser coils, as dirty coils can lead to reduced cooling efficiency. You can gently clean these coils with a coil cleaner or a mixture of water and mild detergent.
Don’t forget to clean the drain pan and drain lines to prevent clogs, which can lead to water damage and mold growth. Regular maintenance and cleaning of your HVAC system can ensure it operates optimally and provides clean, fresh air throughout your home.
4. Invest in Professional HVAC Maintenance
While many aspects of HVAC system maintenance can be performed by homeowners, as mentioned above, it’s wise to invest in professional HVAC maintenance at least once a year. A certified technician can thoroughly inspect and service your system, identifying any potential issues and ensuring it operates at peak performance.
Maintaining clean air filters and a well-functioning HVAC system is crucial for ensuring healthy indoor air quality. By following these four essential tips, you can breathe easier, save energy, and extend the lifespan of your HVAC system. Make air quality a priority in your home, and enjoy the benefits of clean, fresh air for you and your loved ones.