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Do I Really Need to Change My Air Filters?

Man changing out an air filter.

With warm, sunny weather conditions prevalent in San Jose, you understandably run your AC system most of the year. While it is easy to set your thermostat and let the HVAC unit do the work without a second thought, your equipment does require regular attention.

Our customers commonly ask us if changing the air filter every month is necessary. The reality is that replacing your air filter is one of the easiest and most important steps that you need to take to care for your HVAC system.

Why You Need to Change Your HVAC Air Filter Regularly

Changing the air filter for your HVAC system may seem inconvenient, but it takes less than a few minutes to do. These are among the most important benefits that you can expect by changing your air filter regularly:

  • Improved longevity of your equipment

  • Healthier indoor air quality

  • Lower energy costs

  • Decreased risk of breakdowns with lower repair bills

As your HVAC system runs, it will gather dander, dust, and other particles from inside the home. When your air filter is at capacity, it cannot easily capture additional particles. Because of this, your equipment and your indoor air may become increasingly dirty. Dirty equipment will not function as efficiently, so your parts may have to work much harder than they should.

How to Choose a Replacement Air Filter

When you go through the effort to replace your air filter, you understandably want to enjoy the maximum benefits from your efforts. Not all air filters are created the same, and one of the most important differences between them is the MERV rating. MERV means “minimum efficiency reporting value.” It tells you how effective a filter is at trapping particles. The rating system is based on the size of the particles that the filter can remove. The smaller the particle, the higher the MERV rating, with 16 being the highest. Caveat: A higher MERV isn’t always best as it could tax your HVAC system. Unless you have certain respiratory issues, a filter with a MERV between 7 and 12 will be adequate.

Bottom line: Air filters should ideally be replaced every 30 to 90 days. If your filters have not been replaced recently, now is the time to do so. For all of your heating and cooling needs, contact DG Heating & Air Conditioning at (408) 669-3496.

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