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Did you know that a dirty filter in your HVAC equipment can reduce its efficiency by up to 20 percent? Did you also know that it is recommended to check your filter every month? Don’t despair: How frequently you must change your filter depends on the amount of pollution and particulate matter in your area, and most manufacturers recommend replacement of the air filter only every three months.
The filter is usually located between the fan and the duct, and is easily accessible. Simply pull it out and see how dirty it is. Cheap disposable filters may or may not be worth your time to clean depending on how dirty they are, but reusable filters exist and can be cleaned by rinsing with water.
If you opt to replace your filter, make sure to take into account the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. A filter with a high rating will be more efficient and catch more pollutants but will also be more expensive and need to be cleaned or replaced more often.
Set up a schedule to check on your air filter every month or two in addition to your other regular home chores to make sure your HVAC system is in top shape.