Does Your Building Maintenance Plan Include Changing the Air Filter?
Large-scale maintenance in your commercial facility can be easy to track and schedule, but as you develop your building maintenance plan, don’t overlook some of the small but critical details. One of the more crucial of these details is changing the air filter in your building’s heating and cooling system. Air filters may seem trivial, but if neglected in your building maintenance plan, they can lead to costly equipment breakdowns and disruptions in your business activities.
Purpose of air filters
Air filters fit inside your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump systems, where they help keep your indoor air clean and free of contaminants. They’re designed to capture and hold particulates such as dust, pollen, fibers, metal fragments, hair, insect parts and other solid material that can be inhaled. Filters can also trap microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria and germs that can spread disease or aggravate existing conditions. Some filters are designed to stop gases and fumes that can cause odors or physical irritation.
Benefits of air filters
- If your business activities include manufacturing, filters can help remove the airborne leftovers from the manufacturing process.
- Filters keep the air in your office, retail center or showroom clean, which will improve the comfort and health of employees and customers.
- Air filters help reduce the spread of disease, which can be very important in a large retail setting where many people come and go during the day.
Apart from the benefits, you’ll see from cleaner indoor air, regular air filter changes also contribute to HVAC system reliability and efficiency.
- Air filters promote the airflow that your HVAC system needs to operate properly. Dirty filters restrict this airflow and can lead to system malfunctions and breakdowns. Dirty filters can put increased stress on the air handler, which could cause the motor to malfunction or turn out. Dirty air filters are one of the most common sources of HVAC system problems, so changing filters regularly will help prevent the need for expensive repairs.
- Dirty air filters make your HVAC system work harder to heat or cool your facility. This increases energy consumption and, in turn, increases the amount of money you pay every month for heating or cooling.
- Dirty air filters reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of heating and air conditioning systems. With a dirty filter in place, your HVAC equipment won’t be able to work at its best level.
- Dirty air filters can cause internal HVAC system components and ductwork to get dirty faster, which can lead to functional problems and the need for cleaning.
- If your air filter’s dirty, it won’t be able to capture and hold as many contaminants. Worse, the material the filter has already collected could be dislodged and sent back into your indoor environment.
How often should filters be changed?
The simplest answer to how often filters should be changed is “whenever they get dirty.” This can be influenced by several factors, including:
- How often the HVAC system’s running
- How much dust and other contaminants are in your indoor air
- The presence and effectiveness of other air cleaning systems
In general, you should check the air filters at least once a month as part of your building maintenance plan to see if they’re dirty or clogged. One simple but reliable way to determine if a filter is dirty enough to change is to hold it in front of a light source, such as a lamp or overhead lighting. If you can’t see light through the filter, it should be changed.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial and Residential settings. For more information on the importance of making regularly changing the air filters in your HVAC system part of your building maintenance plan, or to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!
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