Why Is My Air Filter Getting So Dirty So Quickly?

The air filter is key to making sure your HVAC system is working efficiently and that clean air is being cycled through the home.  On average, you should change your air filter every three months, sometimes more if you are running your system more often.  But even if you are following the suggestions and changing your air filter often, your air filter may be getting dirtier sooner than expected.  This can lead to clogs and poor air quality inside the home.  So why is this happening?  There are several factors to consider if your air filter is getting dirty quicker than expected. Man writing on paper in front of HVAC unit

  1. Leaky Air Ducts

Ducts that have holes, gaps, or leaks should be sealed up properly to prevent good air from getting out and bad air from getting in.  If there is a leak in the return air ducts, the dusty, dirty air from spaces like that attic or crawl space gets sucked up into the ducts, dirtying the air filter and causing clogging.  Leaky air ducts also affect energy efficiency as your HVAC system has to work harder to put out airflow to heat or cool the home to the set temperature.  Comfort Experts professional HVAC technicians will inspect your ducts for leaks and repair any problem areas for maximum efficiency.

  1. Using a 1-Inch Pleated Air Filter

A one-inch pleated air filter is specifically designed to catch more dust, debris, or other airborne contaminants.  Because of this, it is more likely to get dirtier than other types of air filters.  It’s like a fine netting that is designed to catch everything, but thus, fills up much quicker.  To correct this problem, switch to a thicker pleated air filter or consider using a disposable fiberglass filter instead.

  1. A Fan That Is Set to the “On” Position

Your fan position has an off, on, and an auto position.  A fan that is set to “on” will continuously run at all hours of the day and night.  When air is running constantly through the air filter, it will fill up faster as more contaminants are running through it.  Additionally, running your fan in the “on” position also increases energy use and monthly energy spending.  Set your fan on auto so that the fan is only set to run when your system turns on, decreasing the dirt flowing through the filter as well as energy usage.

  1. Pets in the Home

Those loveable furry critters in your home come with added hair and pet dander that is sure to clog your air filter faster.  If you plan to have or keep pets in the home, it may be in your best interest to consider an air filtration system for purer air quality.

If you want to look into air filtration system installation or just want to schedule your annual maintenance inspection to be sure your HVAC system is up to date, call the pros at Comfort Experts.  We look forward to hearing from you.