Changing Residential Air Filters

By June 22, 2015 No Comments
5 minutes to read

It sits in your furnace or air conditioning unit all year, working hard, yet as with many things if neglected it can cause extensive problems — your air filter.

Air filters for residential use can typically take three forms, in order of popularity, fiberglass panels, high efficiency pleated panels and flat polyester pads. Fiberglass panels typically arrive with the furnace or air conditioner with the purpose of protecting the equipment from contaminant buildup and subsequent performance problems. 3030GlassPolySome manufacturers supply upgraded pleated panels or consumers purchase pleats as replacements for the original fiberglass panels because of the pleated filters’ increased particle capture efficiency. A pleated panel can be over 300% more efficient and can remove particles associated with common allergies as well as lasting longer in the system because of its increased media area.

Because they are hidden from view, homeowners often forget or postpone changing these filters. Failure to change filters on a regular basis can reduce airflow through the system, use more energy to move air through the filter, or even cause filter failure through filter structural collapse.

A good habit for homeowners to get into is changing the filter at least twice a year, once before cooling season and once before heating season. The most critical change is the one immediately previous to the summer season when air conditioning is used. Cold air is heavier than warm air so the air conditioner’s fan has to work harder to move the air. A clean air filter has less resistance so airflow will not be restricted so equipment performance will not be compromised and subsequent building comfort will not be negatively affected.

Homes with additional contaminant generation such as animal dander, located in an urban environment, or with allergy compromised individuals should consider more frequent changes. These homeowners should also consider quarterly changes starting with the month that typically requires the highest number of hours of air conditioning in their local season.

It is also critically important that the proper size filter, one that fits tightly in the filter holding mechanism, be used. A ¼” gap around a 24-inch by 24-inch filter can equal almost 20% air bypass, air that is not being treated thus contaminating surfaces downstream of the filter and allowing particles to remain airborne compromising the buildings’ clean air level.

A human will breathe over 55 pounds of air in a day. Most of the air we breathe may be contaminated, taxing our bodies normal protection system — our lungs. For less than a penny a day your air filter protects you from these contaminants — as long as it serviced properly.

For more information on Camfil and HVAC replacement filters for homes (as well as anywhere else where optimal indoor air quality is imperative), visit Camfil online at

The world leader in air filtration systems, Camfil provides tools to achieve sustainability, maintain high air quality, and reduce airborne infections — all while lowering total cost of ownership. For more information, visit us online at, or call us toll-free at 888.599.6620.

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