4 Ways To Treat Your HVAC Badly

Your home's HVAC system helps keep your home comfortable, and filters out pollutants from your home's air. It is important to use your furnace and air conditioner properly and keep them maintained for the best results. Here are four of the worst things you can do to your home's HVAC system.

Use a Filter with a MERV That is Too High for Your HVAC System

HVAC filters all have their own MERV rating, indicating their level of efficiency. The least efficient filters are rated at 1, and the highest efficiency filters are rated at 16. Most home furnace and air conditioner units can use a filter with a MERV between 8 and 11 to best remove contaminants from the air. If you want to install a filter with a higher MERV rating, it is a good idea to make sure your HVAC system is able to handle the pressure from a high efficient filter.

Don't install a filter that has a MERV that is too high at 12 or above. This can cause too much air blockage in your furnace and air conditioner unit, making the motor work overtime, raising your utility bill.

Don't Check Your Filter Every Month

When your HVAC system is running, either for the furnace or central air conditioning, it is important to check its filter at least once a month. It is a good idea to check it more often than that if you have a high efficiency filter with a high MERV rating, if you smoke, or if you have indoor pets. 

If you are using a filter with a high MERV rating, at 12 or above, more particles will get caught in this efficient filter. 

You also need to check your filter more often if you have pets or you smoke. Indoor cats and dogs create more loose pet hair to float around your home, which gets sucked into your HVAC system's air intake vent, collecting in the filter. The cigarette smoke in your home's air gets filtered through your HVAC filter as well, clogging it faster than in a non-smoker's home.

It is smart to check your filter once a month so that you can change it before it becomes too clogged for your furnace or central air conditioner to work well.

Run Your HVAC Fan All the Time to Filter Your Home's Air

If you are trying to remove pollen and allergens from your home, running your home's fan continually with a high efficiency filter is not going to help. Using your HVAC fan this way is only going to raise your utility bill each month and over-work your HVAC motor.

There are several better ways to filter out pollen, pet dander, and cigarette smoke in your home. One way is to buy a portable air purifier for each main room of your home, installing HEPA filters on them. Also, regularly run the vacuum cleaner on your rugs or carpeting, making sure to use a HEPA vacuum filter, checking and changing it often.

Install Your Filter Backwards

Something every homeowner should know how to do is to check and replace the HVAC filter on your furnace or air conditioning system. Installing a filter backwards onto your HVAC system is a simple mistake, but one that can be easily avoided. 

When a filter is installed backwards, it won't catch as many particles, making it less effective. Your fan will also have to work harder to suck air through a backwards filter, raising your utility bill. 

Fortunately, most filters come with directional arrows that tell you what way the air should flow through the filter for it to work properly. As long as you know what direction the air blows inside your furnace, you should be fine. Otherwise, consult a HVAC technician so you can learn how to properly install your filter.

Follow these tips on what not to do to your HVAC and it should work well for you. However, if you have more concerns, you should contact a local heating and air conditioning company.