Stop Forgetting to Change the Air Filters in Your Facility
Maintaining a commercial facility requires attention to many distinct tasks, both large and small. One of the smallest, and among the easiest to forget, is checking and changing the air filters in your HVAC system. The following techniques can help you and your facilities management staff remember to make these changes on time.
The Importance of Air Filter Changes
Air filter changes may seem like minor or even insignificant tasks, but clean filters actually have a significant effect on indoor air quality. Filters in heating and cooling system are designed to be placed in the path of the airflow moving through the systems. As air passes through the filters, they remove particulates and contaminants such as dust, dirt, pollen, fibers, and hair. Some filters are effective enough to remove fumes and odors. Air filters keep these solid and gaseous materials from getting into your facility’s interior and reducing indoor air quality.
In general, air filters should be checked at least once a month and changed when they become clogged and dirty. If your facility produces more than average amounts of particulates, filter changes may need to be more frequent.
One effective way to decide if a filter is dirty enough to change involves holding it up to a strong light source, such as an uncovered light bulb. If you can’t see the light through the filter medium, it’s dirty enough to change.
Air Filter Change Reminders
Implement some or all of the following techniques to help you remember to change the air filters in your heating and cooling systems.
- Establish a schedule. Determine a schedule for air filter changes and incorporate it into your overall maintenance routine. For example, filter checks and changes could be integrated into tasks such as monthly checks of safety and security systems. Filter checks could be scheduled for the first or last day of the month. The most important point is that the filter checks and changes are performed consistently.
- Set alarms and notifications. Use your electronic resources, such as email or scheduling programs, to set alarms and notifications that remind you when air filters should be checked. In a smaller facility, it may be sufficient to set an alarm on your phone or the maintenance manager’s phone. Regular alarms and notifications will also help those responsible for filter maintenance to get in the habit of making checks.
- Mark filters. A fresh box of filters should be opened immediately and all the filters inside it marked with the date or month when the filter should be changed. This provides an additional reminder whenever a maintenance staff member sees the filters where they are stored.
- Keep filters visible. Don’t store air filters in a closet or a dark part of the basement where they can’t be seen. This is a certain way to make sure filter changes are forgotten. Instead, store the filters in a conspicuous place where they will be seen frequently. Don’t place them where they will be an obstacle, but keeping them in view will make filter changes less likely to be overlooked.
- Install a filter change indicator. Filter change indicators are small devices that are installed along with the filter. They detect changes in air pressure coming through the filter. As the filter gets dirty, less air will be able to pass through it and the pressure will drop. The filter change indicator detects this pressure decrease. When the needle on the indicator reaches the “red zone,” it’s time to change the filter. Remember that some types of programmable thermostats will also have a filter change indicator.
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 air filter changes and access to a full line of filters for your HVAC system, or to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!
Photo Credit: Courtney Icenhour/FreeImages.com