Why Does My Filter Get Dirty So Quickly?

Cat Lying Down on a Furry Carpet

We’re always reminding our Harford County HVAC customers to change their air filters regularly. But if you’re changing your filter every month or so and it’s still filthy every time you check it, it’s time to look into what’s going on before your AC bills start to soar or your system starts to malfunction.

Why would an air filter be clogged too soon?

Some reasons why filters get filthy are:

  • Furry friends. If your pet or pets shed, you will definitely need to change your filter more frequently than in households without animals. To make your filter last as long as possible, brush your pets and vacuum and sweep daily.
  • Dust bunnies. These aren’t the furry friends we mentioned above. Even if you have rooms that you don’t often use, it’s important to dust and vacuum every room in the home to prevent tiny dust balls and particles from drifting into your ducts and clogging your filter.
  • A backwards fan. There are two fan settings on your thermostat — “on” and “auto”. The auto setting only blows when your system is cooling or heating your home, which saves extra particles from filling up your filter. But when the fan is set to “on”, it keeps running, passing air through the filter nonstop.  So switch to auto to make your filter last longer.
  • Super temps. Even when your fan is on auto, your system will keep running continuously if it’s extremely hot or cold outside. We experience a lot of temps in the 90s in Bel Air, so it’s not a bad idea to change your filter an extra time this summer.
  • A high MERV rating.  The higher the MERV rating is, the smaller the particles your filter will trap. A fiberglass filter lets smaller particles pass through, so it won’t clog as quickly as a pleated filter that will catch those particles. A thicker filter isn’t always better even though it can make your home’s air clean, because it also speeds up wear on your HVAC fan. Ask a One Hour HVAC technician to help you choose the best filter for your system.

How else can I make my filter last longer?

A quick fix to remove buildup from your filter is to vacuum the surface of the filter. It won’t clean the filter completely, but it can remove hair and larger particles if you want to stretch your filter for another week.

The most effective way to make your HVAC filters last longer is to add an air purification system to your home. The system will remove lots of particles from the air before they even reach your filter. An air purification systems is a really good choice especially if you have multiple pets or someone in your home has severe allergies.

Ask One Hour Air Conditioning in Bel Air How to Keep the Air in Your Home Cleaner

Give us a call to discuss how to extend the life of your filter, or how an air purification can improve your indoor air quality. We’ll be happy to help.