Chicagoland Furnace & A/C Filter Replacement
Improving The Health Of Your Family
Possibly the most important component to your heating and air conditioning system is the aspect of filtration. Air quality for your home in Chicago metro area is also incredible important to us at Advantage Plumbing, Heating & AC. It is the reason one of our first recommendations is to perform an indoor air quality check, as well as an inspection & cleaning of both ductwork and air filtration equipment. Ensuring your air conditioning and filters work is not only crucial to the effectiveness of your system, but also to the safety of your family and guests. A bad air filter or faulty system that is leaking Freon (the coolant that your system uses) can result in a drastic decrease in health for anyone that spends more than a couple hours in your home. Advantage Plumbing is always the smartest choice when you need your system checked or require a regular filter replacement. We have been handling people’s heating and air conditioning installation, repair and maintenance for a number of years throughout the Chicagoland area. Schedule an appointment today or call us at the number below for emergency service.
Causes For Furnace & A/C Filter Replacement
Air filters have to be changed regularly no matter what state your system might be in. However, there are a few other things you can do to extend the life of your air filters, starting with your air ducts. If your air ducts haven’t been cleaned in awhile, it could be the cause behind your filter needing to be changed more often then normal. Cleaning your air ducts not only extends the life of your furnace and a/c filter, but will also help improve the air quality in your Chicago home.
An old or dirty filter that is then exposed to condensation and becomes damp, can quickly lead to the growth of mold within your system that will then be spread by the HVAC system throughout your home. The growth and spreading of such mold can be the cause of serious health consequences, not to mention a unit that is compromised and will more than likely require intense servicing or even a full replacement. If the area where your HVAC system is located has recently experienced any water damage or you have been running the system regularly during intensely hot weather, be sure to check your air filter and give us a call if you think your system may have been compromised.
Another part of your system that can cause an above average need for filter replacement is the furnace or air conditioning unit itself. If your unit is especially old, it may be the best investment of your money to have a new one installed. At Advantage Plumbing, Heating & AC, we specialize in all things HVAC from simple filter changes to system installation and overhaul. Schedule an appointment for one of our expert technicians to come to your home and evaluate your systems condition and any areas that you might be able to improve efficiency and air quality.
Types Of Air Filters
A majority of HVAC and regular furnace filters are not only disposable, but made out of biodegradable paper and other similar materials. The air filters are shaped into cells, screens or fins that are specifically engineered to stop and trap as much airborne debris as possible. Typically, you can purchase air filters in multi-packs of anywhere from 3 to 5 or more filters. There are a variety of types and sizes that fit different models HVAC units and furnaces, and it is crucial to the functionality of your system that you purchase the correct type or consult a professional as to the best option for your system and home needs. When you are having a new system installed, or your current one serviced, be sure to ask your Advantage Plumbing technician to show you where the filter goes, how to remove an old filter and install a new one, and what their filter type recommendation is.
How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?
I large part of being a responsible homeowner is handling all of the regular maintenance for your homes systems. Failure to perform such maintenance can frequently result in major repair costs to get your system functioning again and can also reduce the life of your furnace or air conditioning system. It is generally recommended that you change the air filter on your system every 3 months at a minimum. At Advantage Plumbing, we know how easy it can be to forget about such a task that is needed only a few times a year, which is why we make it easy for you to schedule appointments in advance and even contract for routine maintenance and examinations of your systems so that you don’t have to worry about it at all. We keep your systems running perfectly on a schedule that works for you and are always conscious and respectful of your home and time. Contact us today to setup a regular maintenance schedule.
Monitor your filter’s condition and make sure to change it more often if:
- Your unit is running anywhere from six months to all year.
- You have pets that live indoors and shed. Nobody wants to be constantly breathing pet dander and hair particles.
- Your home is especially active. If you have a large family or host lots of guests that means more activity in doors, then it is very likely that more dust, dirt and debris are being brought into your home.
- You or another resident smokes inside. Smoke can cause your system to have to work harder to filter the air.
- You or a household resident suffer from a respiratory condition or allergies.
- Your home is located in an especially windy area. High winds can easily carry unwanted debris into your system.
- You use a fireplace. Whether regularly, or only on occasion, use of a fireplace causes your filter to need to be changed more often due to smoke and dirt.
- There is a large garden nearby. Factors such as size and how often the garden is worked, whether tilling soil, planting, pulling weeds, using herbicides and pesticides, or even just watering. These activities result in more dirt, chemicals and condensation that can be pulled into your home’s ventilation system.
- Construction is taking place in or near your home. If you or a neighbor are installing a new roof or pool, or just building an addition or renovating a room, even such temporary activity can create above average dust and debris that your filter may not be able to handle.
You should change your filter immediately if:
- The air filter has become damaged. Whether the filter was damaged during installation, or even before the packaging was opened, a filter with collapsed cells, bent fins, or holes will fail to work properly.
- The filter has become wet or is damp. If your filter has been affected by moisture, condensation from the system itself, or even a higher humidity indoors, then it can rapidly produce mold that will then be spread throughout your home.
- The filter has mold on it. Sometimes you may not even realize that your filter was affected by dampness or that mold has begun to grow. If you discover mold on your filter it is important to not only change it immediately, but also contact a professional to have your system examined for the reason that your filter grew mold to begin with.
When Changing Your Air Filter
- Be sure to turn off the HVAC unit before replacing the filter. This will not only make changing easier, but also ensure that no circulated air is unfiltered during the change.
- Always use a new filter that correctly fits your unit. A filter that is the wrong size or damaged will function no better than the old one you just removed from the system. If there are gaps around the frame of the filter, then it is probably the wrong size.
- Always follow your systems directions on how to remove an old filter and install a new one. It is especially important that the filter is installed facing the correct way and not backwards.
- Use a rag or towel to clear away any residual dust both before and after you replace the filter.
- Be sure to re-secure any gaskets, seals or levers to ensure your filter is catching all the air.
- Activate your unit and ensure that the filter stays in place and does not shift or move.
- Take note of the date that you replaced your filter and keep that information in a convenient location so you can better assess the condition of your system when you next inspect it.
The most important and yet most often overlooked aspect of furnace and AC maintenance is the air filter replacement. If not replaced regularly, it can cause major problems as the filter protects your system from dust and debris that can easily build up. Over time this can degrade the integrity of your system resulting in the need for costly repairs, while at the same time, your system is forced to work harder to produce clean air. Furnace and A/C filters are by far the least expensive part of your system and yet so crucial to your health and comfort.
However, if you experience any of the following, be sure to contact an Advantage Plumbing expert right away.
- If when activated, your system fails to turn back on.
- Your system’s fan seems to be running slowly or is making an excessive amount of noise.
- Your system’s coils are especially dusty or clogged.
- You have noticed a build up of moisture or condensation anywhere in your system.
You should always have your system checked once a year at minimum, but regular changing of your air filter will extend the life of your system, the health of your family, and increase the level of comfort you experience in your home.