4 main types of HVAC systems
Air Filters Explained
How often should I check my air filter?
We suggest checking filters monthly. If you have a disposable type filter, (these usually have a cardboard edge), and if it is dirty, just replace it. Don’t attempt to clean it. Some higher efficiency 1″ pleated air filters can go up to three months before needing replacement. But in the higher-use seasons, it’s better to check more often.
Different systems have different filter locations. If you don’t know where your filter is located, now would be a good time to learn! Usually, there is a removable filter access door in the return air duct next to the furnace or indoor unit. This can be in a basement, crawl-space, utility closet, garage, or attic.
Sometimes, especially with older systems, the filter is located inside the furnace itself, next to the blower motor. And some systems have a central filter grille installed in a wall or ceiling. The grille swings open, revealing the air filter.
Keep in mind, many air filters are directional – the air is meant to flow through the filter in one direction only. Look for an arrow or airflow symbol indicating direction. The arrow should point towards the furnace or air handler. If your filter does not have any arrows, see if one side of the filter looks rougher than the other side; that would be the side to collect the dust, so the other side would face the equipment.
Where is my air filter located?
All central heating and cooling systems should have an air filter, but the filter can be harder to locate on some HVAC units than others. The air filter is usually located in the return air duct or blower compartment before the return air reaches the air handler. This allows the filter to clean the air coming from your house before it enters the HVAC unit.
- On HVAC systems with a return in each room, there may be an air filter behind each of the return grills.
Variables that Affect Your Air Filter
How often should I clean a washable / permanent AC filter?
Air Filtration Lexicon
How do I know if I have a heat pump or an air conditioner?
Are you ready to do some simple detective work? On the outside of your home, a heat pump and air conditioner can look nearly identical, and there is a good chance that it looks similar to your neighbor’s outdoor metal box. Although a heat pump provides both heating and cooling to your home, there is a simple way to determine if you have a heat pump by testing the unit in heating mode.
From your thermostat or control system, turn the “heat” ON. Once you feel the heat coming from your return vent, head outside to observe that metal cabinet. If it is operating and you don’t pay a gas or propane bill, you most likely have a heat pump! Case closed!
What is the lifespan of a heat pump?
It’s tough to determine the actual lifespan of a because there are many factors that contribute to its overall performance — maintenance schedule, filters changes and proper installation are just a few. Location and operational hours may also impact the longevity of a heat pump. For example, if you live in an area with long, cold winters, a heat pump will run more than in temperate climates. The same goes for warmer climates.
If you are looking for peace-of-mind, be sure your installation technician provides a limited warranty for their work and is qualified, experienced and recommended by a trusted source. Additionally, research the manufacturer’s available limited warranties, registration requirements and coverage’s for your specific heat pump.