HVAC Filter Replacement in Wilmington, NC

Person holding a new and dirty HVAC filter, demonstrating the importance of regular air filter replacement for indoor air quality.

Air filters are an imperative component of your HVAC system. They collect dust, dirt, pollen, mold, pet dander, and other debris floating through your house, keeping them out of your ductwork. Air filters make the air cleaner and reduce the workload on your HVAC system.  

With the hot summers Wilmington experiences, HVAC filter replacement is necessary for each season to ensure you have clean air and a properly working system. Even if you don’t have pets and think you keep your home tidy, you should change your air filters regularly in Wilmington for various reasons. 

For example, Wilmington residents experience high tree pollen counts in the spring and high grass and weed pollen counts in the summer. Plus, all homes are subject to dust and mold spores as they travel on clothing and shoes. 

HVAC filter replacement frequency will vary based on the quality of the air filter, but knowing the signs of when you must change them is essential.

Understanding HVAC Filters 

Think of air filters as a protection from bad air quality. Without a clean air filter, you could breathe in dust, mold, bacteria, and dirt. This can be dangerous for any household member, especially those with allergies or chronic health conditions. The unhealthy air may also negatively affect your health even if you do not show signs immediately.

HVAC filter replacement is essential for your health and makes your HVAC system run more efficiently and last longer. When you have a working air filter trapping debris, dust, and mold, your HVAC system can push through clean air much more easily. With less stress on the HVAC appliance, your air conditioner and furnace may last longer and need fewer repairs, saving you money in the long run.

Signs Your HVAC Filter Needs Replacement 

It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when changing air filters, but here are some common signs that HVAC filter replacement is necessary:

  • Reduced airflow: If it takes longer to cool down or heat your home, the air filter may be to blame. When air cannot easily flow through the filter, your HVAC system must work harder.
  • Dirty or clogged air filters: A quick look at your air filter will let you know if it needs replacement. If it looks full of dirt and debris, it needs replacement. If you use a dirty or clogged air filter, the dust and debris will likely settle in your ductwork, vents, and inside your home.
  • Increased allergies: If you have household members with allergies, you may notice an increase in their symptoms when the air filter needs replacement. Ideally, you’ll change the air filter before it gets to this point, but if there’s more coughing, sneezing, and difficulty breathing in the house, check the filter.
  • High energy bills: If you wonder why your energy bill increased so much over the last few months and usage didn’t change, it could be the air filter. Clogged filters make the system run more frequently and harder, using more energy and costing you more money.

To find a Local HVAC Pro who can help you, click here!

How to Choose the Right HVAC Filter for Wilmington, NC

Choosing the right filter is crucial for an HVAC system to work properly. Here are the top factors to consider:

  • Size: Choose an air filter with the proper length, width, and depth to fit your HVAC system and also lines up with the gaskets.
  • MERV ratings: The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) reflects an air filter’s effectiveness. The ratings vary from MERV 1, which captures basic pollutants like dust, to MERV 16, which captures the smallest particles and viruses. The higher the MERV rating, the higher the HVAC filter replacement cost.
  • HVAC filter replacement frequency: Determine the frequency required to change a specific air filter before purchasing it. Some last 1 – 3 months and others last longer, but may cost more.

HVAC Filter Types

Homeowners have many HVAC filter options, including:

  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass air filters may suffice if you’re only concerned about capturing large particles, such as dust. However, they aren’t the best option if you have pets or a household member has allergies, as they aren’t effective at capturing pet dander, pollen, and dust mites.
  • Pleated: Pleated air filters have more space to capture particles and are more effective at capturing smaller particles, including dander and dust mites. They are also more effective and are usually made of cotton. Pleated air filters last longer but have higher prices than fiberglass filters.
  • Electrostatic: Electrostatic filters attract particles with an electrostatic charge and can trap small particles. They are more expensive to purchase, but they can be reused by washing them, saving you money in the future on HVAC air filter replacement.

Homeowners in Wilmington, NC, should focus on air filters with a MERV rating between 8 and 13 to capture the large amount of pollen and dust in the air. Pleated air filters are typically sufficient, but HEPA filters may be a better option for anyone with environmental allergies.

How Often Should HVAC Filters Be Changed in Wilmington, NC? 

Most air filters require replacement every 30 days, but some may last up to three months. Check the manufacturer’s instructions when deciding how often to change your air filter. It’s also good to check the filter periodically to ensure it’s not prematurely clogged.

DIY vs Professional HVAC Filter Replacement 

Fortunately, replacing your HVAC filters is an easy DIY project following these simple steps:

  1. Locate your HVAC system, which is usually in a basement or closet
  2. Find the air filter slot; this is usually a long, thin opening with a cover
  3. If the air filter slot wasn’t in the HVAC system, check the air return vents
  4. Turn the HVAC system off
  5. Remove the dirty filter and toss it
  6. Slide the new air filter into the slot
  7. Ensure a proper fit
  8. Clean any dirt or debris from the filter around the HVAC system
  9. Restart the HVAC system
  10. Note when you changed the filter so you can stick to a schedule

While replacing your HVAC filters is a DIY job, there are benefits to hiring a professional to do it for you. First, you’ll ensure you purchase the right filter for your system. Choosing a filter that’s the wrong size or doesn’t capture the particles you need it to capture could leave you with lower air quality than you hoped.

Plus, working with a licensed professional helps develop a relationship with a quality company that is familiar with your system and can help keep it in good working condition.

To find a Local HVAC Pro who can help you, click here!

Conclusion

HVAC filter replacement is one of the keys to keeping your HVAC system running properly. Using the right filter, replacing them often, and keeping up with your system’s maintenance ensures your HVAC system lasts longer, and provides temperature control throughout your Wilmington home.

FAQs

How much does it cost to replace a residential HVAC filter? 

HVAC filter replacement costs depend on the type of filter needed. Most brands and models cost $25- $50.

Why are HVAC filters so expensive? 

Higher-quality HVAC filters are more expensive because they trap small particles, not just dust and debris. They help maintain good air quality, keeping you and your family safe.

Can I run my HVAC without a filter for one night?

It’s best not to run your A/C or furnace without a filter, even for one night. If there’s no way around it, limit the usage to 6 to 8 hours before getting a filter.

How often should HVAC filters be changed in Wilmington, NC? 

Most air filters should be changed within 30 days, but some may last longer. It’s best to check your filters every 30 days to decide if they are clean enough to keep using or if they need replacement.

What happens if you don’t change the HVAC filter?

If you don’t change the HVAC filter, it will not work as effectively. Clogged air filters cause stress on the HVAC system, which could cause premature failure or require the replacement of certain parts. You may also have higher energy bills, and your home may not be as comfortable.

How long should an HVAC filter last?

The average HVAC filter lasts 30 days, but some are made to last longer. No matter their lifeline, check a filter’s condition frequently to ensure it’s not clogged and causing stress on your system.

Sources