Investigating Causes of Quick-Filling HVAC Filters

Air quality is an important concern for all home and business owners, and one of the single most important items in this realm is the HVAC filter. Responsible for catching and holding harmful particles and contaminants before they reach your air supply, HVAC filters are important for both health-related areas and the overall quality of your HVAC system.

At My Buddy the Plumber, we’ll help you with all filter-related concerns or questions during any of our AC or furnace repair and installation services. Most standard HVAC filters should be changed out roughly once every month or two, and many will have guidelines for this included on their packaging – but what if you have begun to notice your filters filling up too quickly or not performing their full duties for the entire month? Here are some possible causes of this that you might want to investigate.

worker openning filter holder for air conditioning filter in ceiling

Incorrect Filter Choice

One of the most common reasons why the filter might fill up too quickly is that you’ve chosen the wrong kind. There are many filter types out there, and they all have what’s called a MERV rating – this refers to how fine a level of particle they’re designed to catch. Those with higher MERV ratings can catch extremely fine particles, but these filters will also naturally fill up faster since they collect more.

As a homeowner, it’s important to find the sweet spot here. You don’t want a cheap, low-level filter with a very low MERV rating, as this won’t adequately filter contaminants from your air. But there’s also no need for a pricey, industrial-level filter with a super-high MERV rating that will just fill quickly and require faster replacement. Our pros will help you find your optimal filter MERV rating range if you need assistance.

Pet Hair

One common cause of filters clogging up faster than usual? Pet hair, which will be caught by even low-MERV filters. Do your best to vacuum and sweep, plus brush your pet outdoors if you can.

Duct Issues

If your ducts have leaks or holes, they’re susceptible to contaminants from the attic or other non-filtered areas making their way in. We’re happy to help with duct sealing needs if required.

Dust Concerns

If there’s lots of dust present in your home, perhaps due to a recent renovation or construction project, your filter will fill up quicker as it collects this dust. Try to keep the home from collecting too much dust if you can, especially near vents or registers.

Fan Settings

Finally, you should always keep your thermostat’s fan setting on AUTO unless you have a specific reason for turning it to ON. The ON setting leads the fan to stay on constantly, which both taxes the system and moves more air through the filter, filling it up faster. The AUTO setting, on the other hand, only activates when the HVAC system is also active, limiting the strain on the filter.

For more on identifying the causes of quick-filling HVAC filters, or to learn about any of our residential plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the pros at My Buddy the Plumber today.