7 Reasons Your Filter Isn’t Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

The air in your home may appear clean, but it often contains tiny particulate matter that is not easily visible to the naked eye. These microscopic particles can easily enter narrow passageways and be unknowingly inhaled. This can affect your respiratory health over time. To enhance indoor air quality, have effective filters that can capture these foreign particles. While air conditioners and heaters come with built-in filters, their performance may not always be sufficient. If you notice that your HVAC filter is not effectively improving indoor air quality in your home, investigate the underlying reasons behind this issue.

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7 Reasons Your Filter Isn’t Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

HVAC filters may not be working properly to their full potential due to the following causes:

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No HVAC Filter

image of a man replacing his home air filter

If you recently moved to a new house, you may assume that the HVAC system is working properly and all parts are present. However, excess dust and allergens in the air are suspicious. Make sure that the filter is present in the system. Sometimes, the slot may have been left empty, so dirty air goes through easily. The past owner may have forgotten to put the filter back. They may have found the spot hard to reach and didn’t bother to return the filter. This results in the dirt and dust accumulating quickly in the coils, ducts, and blowers.

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HVAC Filter Was Installed Incorrectly

Having an HVAC filter and installing it correctly are two different things. It is useless to get a high-quality filter if it isn’t in the right place. A small gap can be enough to let dirty air go around the filter instead of going through it. The filter cannot block the particulate matter effectively. The indoor air quality will stay poor despite an air filter. You can replace it diligently per the manufacturer’s recommendations, but this will not mean much unless the installation is corrected. Homeowners may not notice they are doing anything wrong, but HVAC professionals will certainly catch this during maintenance.

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Not Enough HVAC System Runtime

image of homeowner with hvac vent that is dirty

Filters aren’t static installations. Air must flow from one side to the other for them to work. The HVAC system needs to run long enough to push an adequate amount of air through the filters. HVAC units that are too large are problematic because they reach the set temperature quickly and shut off immediately. Make sure that a technician calculates your home’s exact heating and cooling requirements to avoid incorrect HVAC unit sizing. The fan setting should also be “ON” instead of “AUTO” so that it works longer. However, this will increase your energy consumption, which inevitably will reflect on your energy bill. Consider getting a standalone air filter to focus on this task if you are still unsatisfied with the results. Contact a reliable HVAC contractor to learn more about improving indoor air quality.

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Not Enough HVAC Airflow

In some cases, the runtime is acceptable, but there is limited airflow. This results in lower filtration volume. The usual culprits are return ducts that are too small. Another common cause is clogged filters, which happens if you don’t replace your HVAC filter regularly. Filters with too much dirt on their surface mean the air cannot go through easily. The airflow will drop, and there will be increased air pressure. The system’s efficiency will also be affected negatively. You should have a regular air filter replacement schedule so they can catch particles effectively while allowing clean air to pass freely.

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MERV Rating Is Too Low

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, usually shortened to MERV, is a crucial filter specification that should be noticed. Filters with low MERV ratings are cheaper. However, they aren’t as effective in catching air pollutants. On the other hand, HVAC filters with high MERV ratings can be costly, but your filter will perform excellently. So, don’t go for the lowest-priced model when purchasing new air filters. Make sure that the product is worth every penny. It may be worth it to spend a little more if it means you breathe cleaner air and avoid respiratory problems while indoors. Be sure to talk to your HVAC contractor about which MERV rating is the best for your HVAC system.

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Not Filtering Outdoor Air For Mechanical Ventilation

HVAC systems are as good as their installation. Even a reputable brand will not perform as expected if the installers made a mistake. For instance, they may have linked the outdoor air duct to the system’s return side, completely bypassing the air filter. This oversight rarely happens, but it can still occur. A highly experienced technician has a keen eye for spotting it. It is a frustrating issue, but it will help you understand what is happening, and you can take adequate steps to resolve it.

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Filter Is In The Wrong Location

You have to understand how your existing HVAC unit works and how the air flows to find the correct spot for the air filter. You may think that placement is trivial, but people can make mistakes. The filter cannot perform as well if there is improper or sub-optimal placement. Remember that the best models can still fall short if they are in the wrong place.

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The air filter is a crucial piece of your indoor air quality. Look into the HVAC filter if you notice your family constantly coughing, sneezing, and having difficulty breathing. It may exhibit one or more of the problems in this article. You need to purchase the correct air filter and install it properly. Avoid mistakes and repair problems right away with the help of a reliable HVAC technician. Have them conduct a thorough system checkup and maintenance right away. You will feel the difference immediately.

Tevis Energy’s sister company, Modern Comfort, performs HVAC installations, replacements, tune-ups, and more. Our technicians can provide you with expert HVAC services to ensure that your system provides you with the comfort and efficiency you deserve. Call now to schedule an appointment.

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Our company guarantees quality and cost-effective heating and cooling services. We offer tune-up services that can help increase your home’s energy efficiency and comfort while lowering your cooling bills. If you require a replacement or repair for your HVAC unit, we can recommend the best solutions while working within your budget. All of our work is guaranteed to ensure your satisfaction. Book a service appointment and call Tevis Energy today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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