Responsible homeowners understand the importance of replacing their HVAC system filters on schedule. However, there may be occasions when they need to be changed sooner. If you check your air filter once it’s time to replace it and notice that it is completely covered in dust, hair, and other particles, there are several common causes.
The following are some common reasons why an air filter will clog quicker than normal:
- Your fan is set to “on” – There are typically two fan settings on your thermostat – “auto” and “on.” When the fan is at the “auto” setting, it only blows when your system is actively cooling or heating your house. But when it is set to “on,” it runs continuously, causing air to pass through filter all day or night. Setting it to “auto” enables you to get more effectiveness out of your filter.
- Your filter has a high MERV rating – The higher the rating, the smaller the particles your filter can trap. An inexpensive fiberglass filter will allow smaller particles to pass through, so it won’t get clogged as quickly compared to a thick filter.
- Dusty home – Whether you underwent a recent reconstruction project or just accumulated dust in mostly unoccupied rooms, anything that doesn’t get sucked up by the vacuum can pass through the filter.
- Pet hair – If you have one or more pets who shed in the home, their hair is passing through the filters. Daily vacuuming or weekly pet grooming can help reduce this issue.
If your filter becomes clogged are a couple of weeks, you can vacuum off its surface. While it doesn’t thoroughly clean your filter, it can remove a substantial amount of hair and larger particles. Additionally, you can switch to a reusable filter that needs to be cleaned regularly with a vacuum attachment or garden hose.