Air Filter Maintenance That Matters

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Don't forget to maintain your air filter this holiday season. Maintaining your HVAC system before the holidays helps remove particles of dust, allergens, and airborne mold spores from the air, creating a healthy environment for your family and guests. Additionally, replacing the air filter can improve the overall energy efficiency of your home, saving you money on energy bills during a season when it's really hard to save money.

“The holiday season is a prime time to change HVAC air filters," suggests Andy Fox, Indoor Air Quality Specialist at 3M. "The weather has been getting colder and colder, and your HVAC system is entering its peak heating use (through early in the new year)." So, go. Double-check your correct filter size, and buy an air filter replacement next time you head out on holiday errands.

How do the holidays affect indoor air quality?

The holiday rush often brings a lot of excitement and energy as people prepare for gatherings, shopping, and travel. Continue to be mindful of factors that can impact the air you breathe—heating systems, holiday decorations, and cooking activities all play a role.

Increased Indoor Activities

The holiday season welcomes indoor activities and gatherings. You'll spend time doing crafts, baking, and cooking up a storm on a regular basis. Escaping the cold and embracing indoor activities can be a welcomed change of pace, but it can expose you to all the dust, dander, and airborne debris present inside a home.

Higher Occupancy During Gatherings and Celebrations

Hosting gatherings and celebrations fosters a sense of togetherness, and during the holiday season, bonding with your loved ones is especially important. But, keep in mind that it can introduce more airborne contaminants, particles, and viruses. Updating your current filter helps improve the air quality inside your home and helps your family stay healthy.

Impact of Dusty Holiday Decorations on Air Quality

It may not be top-of-mind, but holiday decorations like artificial trees, wreaths, and ornaments can lead to poor respiratory conditions. “It’s easy to see why artificial Christmas trees are popular among shoppers. With their easy maintenance and long-lasting lifespan, many often gravitate towards artificial trees during the holiday season," agrees Fox. "But what they don’t realize is how much dust accumulates in storage that can be propelled into the air after being stowed away all year."

Residual dust, mold, and other airborne allergens can affect the overall air quality, causing discomfort for those with severe allergies or respiratory issues. Also, did you know that fresh-cut Christmas trees can actually help clean the air in your home by emitting oxygen all season long?

How often should you change your HVAC filters?

The accumulation of dust, mold, and dander, as well as other airborne particles introduced during the holiday season can impact your household as well as your guests. As allergens collect on the dirty air filters, they can reduce the efficiency of the HVAC system and contribute to poor air quality indoors. Regular maintenance during and after the holiday season can help.

"Standard replacement is every three months, but consider replacing your indoor air filter even more frequently if you have pets, are remodeling, live with a smoker or have a fan that runs continuously,” shares Fox. "Air filters like the Filtrete™ MPR 1500 work to capture pollutants like dust, dirt, mold, bacteria and viruses from the air in your home to improve your indoor air quality."

In addition to this, a clean air filter allows the system to function more efficiently, reducing noise levels, energy consumption, and lowering utility bills. Changing AC filters and furnace filters also prevents system damage by ensuring that the HVAC unit is not overworking due to clogged filters, which can lead to costly repairs.