To help save energy while still keeping your Jacksonville home comfortable, a heat pump makes a great option. Whether you’re just considering a heat pump for your home or you’ve just had a heat pump installed, it’s important to understand how to replace the air filter in your heat pump to ensure that you maintain the heat pump’s efficient operation. Fortunately, the designers of the heat pumps that we install at Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling make it easy to replace your air filter at regular intervals. To learn more about this process, keep reading this guide on air filters for heat pumps.
How Often to Replace an Air Filter on a Heat Pump
The most important part of air filter replacement is frequency. If you don’t replace your filter often enough, you risk choking your heat pump due to a lack of air being sent through the air return. If you replace your filter too often, you’re simply throwing money away and harming the environment.
To find a healthy balance, it’s important to track your air filter’s progress when you first have a new heat pump installed. Check your filter at least once a week and take a picture of it to document how much dust it has collected. You can then compare these pictures to see how quickly your filter collects dust.
At Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling, we recommend that you don’t go any longer than 90 days without replacing your home’s air filter. Of course, if your filter becomes saturated before that time, you should replace it sooner. If you aren’t home much or don’t need to operate your heat pump very often due to comfortable temperatures, you may be able to stretch an air filter past the 90-day mark.
How to Replace Your Heat Pump’s Air Filter
Before you replace your air filter, we at Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling recommend that you make sure that your heat pump is turned off. After all, you don’t want unfiltered air pumping through your heat pump and ductwork.
Once that’s done, the first step in replacing your heat pump’s air filter is locating the air filter within your heat pump. Some heat pumps put the air filter in the air handler, while some put the filter in the return duct. Either way, there’s likely to be a small door that helps keep the filter in place. Open the latches on this door and swing it open.
Reach into the filter compartment and slowly slide the filter out. It’s a good idea to have a plastic trash bag waiting nearby so that you can slide the filter directly into the bag. This helps to keep the dust on the filter instead of allowing it to escape into the air. Replace the filter with a filter of the same size, making sure to orient the filter with the arrows on the filter facing in the direction that air flows through your system. Finally, close the filter compartment door, and then turn your system back on to make sure everything works properly.
How to Know When Your Filter Needs to Be Replaced
Beyond the time intervals mentioned above, there are a few things you should be on the lookout for that could indicate your air filter needs to be replaced.
First and foremost, if your system seems to be struggling to provide enough conditioned air to your home, always check the air filter before calling Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling. If an air filter is saturated with dust, the lack of airflow could cause your system to work harder for longer to maintain your home’s temperature. If you run your system like this for extended periods, you could cause your system to fail.
Additionally, if you notice extra dust on surfaces in your home, it could be an indication that it’s time to replace your air filter. If there’s too much dust on the filter, any dust that comes into the filter chamber could bounce off the dust that’s already there and settle in your living space instead. To avoid excess dusting, it’s important to keep a clean air filter in place at all times.
How to Choose an Air Filter for Your Heat Pump
If you’ve ever gone shopping for air filters at your local big-box store, you’ve likely been overwhelmed by the number of options available. Fortunately, with these tips from Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling, you’ll find that choosing an air filter isn’t as complicated as it seems. First, make sure that you choose the correct size. A filter that’s too small won’t effectively trap dust as it flows through your system.
Second, you’ll need to choose the MERV rating of your new filter. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value and is a measure of the size of contaminants that a filter can capture. A filter with a higher MERV rating can capture smaller contaminants. Filters with ratings of five and above are typically sufficient to protect your system and keep the air in your home relatively clean. However, if you have family members with severe allergies, a MERV rating of 12 or above is recommended.
You can also choose between disposable or reusable filters. While reusable filters save money over the long run, disposable filters are much easier to change since you don’t have to clean them.
A Note About Air Purifiers
To help keep your home’s air as clean as possible, you may need more than a standard air filter. Instead, a whole-home air purifier from Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling may be your best option. An air purifier combines the mechanical filtration offered by an air filter with the exceptional filtering capabilities of activated charcoal and UV light.
Combined, these filters remove a vast majority of the contaminants in your home’s air, including odor-causing substances and certain bacteria. If you find that your air filter becomes saturated quickly and you still have a dusty home, an air purifier may be able to provide some relief.
Other Heat Pump Maintenance
Replacing your air filter at the appropriate intervals is one of the best ways to take care of your heat pump to ensure that it lasts as long as expected. However, there is more that goes into heat pump maintenance than simply replacing the air filter.
Every six months or so, your heat pump needs to be checked by a professional technician from Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling. The technician will check the refrigerant line for leaks, test all of the electrical components, lubricate any moving parts, and perform a complete system check to ensure that your system is operating properly. Even ground-source heat pumps, which tend to last far longer than air-source heat pumps, need this regular attention to maintain optimal efficiency.
Helping Your Heat Pump Last
At Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling, we want to come alongside our customers to help them extend the life expectancy of their HVAC equipment. That’s why we offer maintenance and repairs for all types of heat pumps, furnaces, and air conditioners. When it does come time to install new equipment, we can take care of that, as well. Plus, we can install indoor air quality equipment so that you can breathe easily whenever you’re in your home. Our loyal customers consistently reward us with five-star reviews to thank us for our superb service. To learn more about maintaining your heat pump, contact us at Reliable Ducts Heating and Cooling today.