As we’re sure you already know, not all air filters are created equal. In fact, there are rather large differences between them. For example, fiberglass filters need to be changed every month, if not every few weeks. On the other hand, pleated filters only need to be changed twice per year. Add in factors such as pets or allergies and you could be looking at a whole different schedule. Since the process can be so daunting, we’re here to break everything down for you. If you’re wondering how often you need to change your HEPA filter, check out the information below.
What is a HEPA Filter?
First and foremost, a HEPA filter is one of the most powerful air filters on the market. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter and is able to trap 99.97% of tiny particles. While these air filters have been in production since WWII, it wasn’t until the 1950s that they were available for in-home use.
Originally designed as part of the Manhattan Project, scientists found that in addition to radioactive materials, HEPA filters could trap mold, dust, dander, and many other indoor air contaminants. It was only when the Manhattan Project files were declassified that average scientists could use HEPA filter patents and technology for things like home HVAC systems.
What Are HEPA Filters Made From?
To put it simply, HEPA filters are made from tightly wound and interlaced strands of fiberglass. These fiberglass strands are woven together to create a maze that even the smallest particles can’t find their way through. There are 4 ways this a HEPA filter can trap particles:
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- Direct Impact – Larger molecules, such as dust and pollen, run headfirst into the fiberglass and get caught.
- Straining – Smaller particles are pushed forward by the treated air, but they are then quickly caught in a gap between fibers.
- Interception – Though some particles are small enough to travel through the fiberglass, they can get caught on the sides of fiberglass strands.
- Diffusion – The smallest of fibers move more erratically than large ones and get stuck in the fine weave of a HEPA filter.
How Often Should I Replace a HEPA Filter?
HEPA filters, like most other air filters, should be replaced twice per year, or every six months. Despite this, some HEPA filters are so strong you can go a year without changing it. This all depends on the type of filter you purchase. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it all depends on the type of filter you purchase. A standard HEPA filter needs to be changed twice per year. At Service Champions, we like to change the filter once in the spring, and once in the fall.
Signs it’s Time to Change Your Air Filter
In addition to the twice per year timeline, it’s important to know the signs it’s time to change your air filter. Some regions, like the ones more affected by fire season, may need to change their HEPA filter more than twice every year.
Some signs to watch out for are:
- Dirt and dust are accumulating around your air vents.
- Your electricity bill has gone up for no reason.
- Allergies worsen out of nowhere.
- The filter itself looks dirty or damaged
Want to Learn More? Call the Experts at Service Champions
Do you have more questions about air filters and how to preserve your indoor air quality? It’s time to make an appointment with one of the HVAC experts at Service Champions! We are the only Diamond Certified plumbing and HVAC company in southern California and proudly serve parts of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. To meet your HVAC expert, call the number at the top of the screen or click here to request an appointment online.