Tips For Changing Your Filters

When researching ideas for home maintenance, do-it-yourself tips or care for your HVAC unit one of the most common suggestions you will see is “change your air filter.”

There are two reasons for this filter frequency. For one, it’s important. A clean filter means a better quality of air is flowing into your home. Second, it’s easy to do!

The biggest obstacle in changing the filter seems to be the simple fact of remembering to do so.

  • Here are some tips to help you remember:
  • Write the date you changed the filter on the outside edge of the filter.
  • If you use a calendar, mark an approximate date to change the filter.
  • Most smart phones have a reminder function, set one up to remind you to change the filter.
  • Buy filters in bulk and write approximate dates on the outside edge and store them where you see them frequently.
  • Assign another task or chore with changing filters. For example, if you clean your gutter once a month, also change your filter the same day. The goal is each task will spark your memory to perform the other.

When changing your filter, pay attention to the MERV rating. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and there are five categories.

MERV 1-4: Filters in this range offer the very basic filtration. They are often cheap to purchase but don’t expect much more than keeping dust of the equipment.

MERV 5-8: The most common for housholds. They capture smaller particles that aggravate allergies without limiting air flow.

MERV 9-12: Helpful if you have severe allergies or multiple pets that shed a lot or produce a lot of dander. A filter with this rating may require an HVAC technician to boost the blower motor to counteract air flow restrictions.

MERV 13-16: Filters with this rating are usually reserved for hospitals, superior commercial applications and smoking lounges.

MERV 17-20: Filters in this range or also referred to High Efficiency Particulate Absorption (HEPA) filters. They are most commonly found in vacuum cleaners.

With an average home without pets, the filter should be changed at least every 90 days. For homes with one pet, filters should be changed every 60 days. If you have multiple pets or someone in the residence smokes or has severe allergy problems, filters should be changed every 30-45 days.

It’s also important to keep in mind, changing your filter before it is due to be changed, won’t hurt anything at all. You can get by with just using the eyeball test – if it looks dirty, change it.

Another key thing to avoid is never run your system with the wrong sized filter. If you don’t know what size you need, you can measure first the length and depth (L x W). If your space is not square, the smallest measurement goes first. Then measure the depth (D). Put all three measurements together (LxWxD) and you now know what size filter your unit requires.

McAtee Plumbing, Heating and Cooling provides reliable service to six different states. Contact us today if you need help getting your plumbing or HVAC issues resolved.

For Clarksburg, Fairmont, Morgantown, Weston, Charleston, Huntington and surrounding areas in West Virginia, call 304-623-3102. For Charleston and surrounding areas in Ohio, call 614-252-9400. For Detroit and surrounding areas in Michigan, call 313-277-9969. For Atlanta and surrounding areas in Georgia, call 678-367-0116. For Columbia, Charleston and surrounding areas in South Carolina as well as the Charlotte area of North Carolina, call 843-352-3116. Or you can contact McAtee by email at Visit our website at