Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Right HVAC Filter

HVAC filters have a crucial job: maintaining indoor air quality and keeping your HVAC system in check. They trap particles, preventing buildup in the indoor unit and ducts and give you cleaner air at home. Wagner recommends changing them regularly to extend your HVAC's life and improve your family's health. 

The Essential Role of HVAC Filters 

HVAC filters help trap airborne particles and contaminants so they do not circulate throughout your home. Filters trap particles such as pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and even viruses and bacteria in some cases. This helps improve your indoor air quality and helps promote a clean and healthy living space. Filters also act as a layer of protection for HVAC system components such as the blower motor, coils, heat exchanger, and other fragile parts of the system. Reducing the number of particles that come in contact with these components can help extend the life of your system and help it run efficiently. 

Where is My Filter Located?

The first step in determining which filters to buy is to look at how your HVAC system was set up and determine where your current filters are located. Some homes will have an air filter mounted at the base of the indoor unit.  Most often, the indoor unit is located in the attic, basement, or a dedicated closet. Others will have filters at each of the return air grills. Return air grills are usually found in the lower wall or ceiling of a room or hallway. If you have a filter at the indoor unit, return air grill filters are not necessary, so it is common for newer homes to just have one filter on the indoor unit. If you have multiple HVAC systems, you will have multiple indoor units, so make sure to check each of the filters. 

Which Filter is Right for Me?

There are a variety of filters on the market, each with different quality levels and capabilities. Some filters that are attached to the air handling unit are up to 4 inches thick. These are usually brand specific and will need to be sourced according to the manufacturer of the filter, or Wagner can help you find the right kind. When replacing this filter, it is usually best to purchase a replacement with the same specs. The filters on return air grills are usually 1 inch thick and need to be replaced more frequently. These are the standard filters you see sold in many grocery and home improvement stores. Regardless of what type of filters you have, make sure to look at your current filters to find the dimensions you will need before you start shopping.

How Often Should I Change my Filters?

Keeping your filters clean is key to a smoothly running system and cutting down on energy use for a comfy home. We highly recommend switching them out regularly. When dust and debris fill up the filters, it's like putting a damper on airflow and your system works harder. Thicker filters, 4 inches and up, can usually last 6 months to a year. Meanwhile, 1-inch filters should be changed every 1 to 3 months. If allergies, pets, or dust are in your mix, you might need even more frequent changes. A monthly filter check is a smart move to figure out what suits your home best.

Switching out your air filters is a solid move to safeguard your HVAC system and boost the air quality at home. Take a look at the dimensions on your current filters' sides to verify they are the right size for your system.

Need Help with HVAC Services in Albuquerque or Santa Fe?

If you have more questions on finding the correct filter for the AC in your home, or need any additional cooling help from a reliable HVAC company in Albuquerque, we are here for you. At Wagner Mechanical, our HVAC technicians are fully insured and licensed with years of experience. We prioritize emergency calls, and try our best to get someone to your home the same day, in the case of an emergency. We stand behind our team with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Contact Wagner Mechanical today.