Replacing Your HVAC Filters is Crucial to Your Health and Home Investment

Quality Air of the Carolinas was created by health professionals on a mission to improve the well-being of their community, as well as their own homes. One of the easiest ways to live healthier, while also protecting your HVAC investment, is by changing your air filters frequently and choosing the correct filter to maximize the benefits of health and efficiency.

Clogged Filters Make Your System Work Overtime.

Routinely replacing your filters ensures your system runs effectively and efficiently.  When filters become clogged with dust, pet hair, dirt, and other contaminants, your furnace and air conditioner have to work much harder to move air throughout your home. This causes longer run times, resulting in increased monthly energy costs to heat and cool your home, as well as increased costs from premature breakdowns and system failure. A large percentage of our HVAC service calls are the result of clogged filters freezing up the system. You can often save unnecessary system breakdowns simply by changing your filters routinely.

Dirty Air Filters Negatively Affect Your Health.

Dirty and/or low MERV-rated filters allow dust, dander, pet hair, and microbial growth to continuously circulate throughout your home, depositing growth and debris on your HVAC system’s coil. Breathing poorly filtered air can cause asthma, allergies and other respiratory symptoms to worsen. Properly filtering  your air also improves sleep, mood and energy, while minimizing the spread of germs, and maximizing the life of your system.

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?

The standard, generic answer is to change your filters every three months. However, the frequency at which you change the filters in your system depends greatly on several, critical variables considered in your personal home or work environment.  The number of occupants, presence of pets and details of the living space are some of those variables.  At Quality Air of the Carolinas, we recommend “eye-balling” your filters monthly until you have a firm handle on how often your own personal space requires a filter change.

Below, is a quick guide to help get you started:

Living Space VariablesRecommended Filter Change Frequency
Single occupant or vacation home without pets or allergiesEvery 6-12 months
Typical suburban home without petsEvery 90 days
Add one pet (dog, cat, rabbit, or other furry animal)Every 60 days
Add one additional pet or household member with allergiesEvery 30 days

What Type of Filter Should I Choose and Why?

When choosing a filter, we generally don’t recommend a MERV rating above 8.  (MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and was established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioner Engineers, known simply as ASHRAE. MERVvalues vary from 1 to 16. ) While it may be true higher MERV ratings theoretically trap more airborne particles, these filters diminish air flow.  As previously discussed, restricting airflow negatively affects the health of your HVAC system. HVAC systems need a minimum amount of air flow to function properly.  Most filtering needs can be achieved using a MERV 8 filter. Lower-rated options don’t filter contaminants efficiently and higher-rated ones can potentially cause system problems.

Beyond the Filter.

If you desire healthier outcomes beyond what a MERV 8 filter offers, specifically for health issues such as allergies, we recommend adding one of our tested and proven air purification systems and/or specialized ElimiShield-filters that trap and kill contaminants without restricting airflow.

Lastly, with spring in full-swing, calling to schedule an air conditioning maintenance/tune-up, is highly recommended to prepare your system for the hot weather ahead.  This maximizes your system’s function, while assuring your living space is optimally healthy and comfortable.

Denny Castillo is the owner of Quality Air of the Carolinas. You can reach him or another team member at 704-997-5778, or via email Check us out on the web at

Does your home or commercial space have poor air quality that may be causing health issues?