Indoor air is not as clean as it may seem. It only looks clear because our eyes can’t see the small airborne particles except sometimes when they are struck with direct sunlight. Their diminutive size allows them to slip through the narrow cracks of various rooms. They get deep into the lungs along with the air that we breathe. Our bodies can tolerate low levels of impurity but a high concentration over an extended period can lead to poor health. HVAC air filters are useful in improving indoor air quality by seizing the unwanted particles. Air conditioners and furnaces have these but they might not perform as well as they should. If you are unsatisfied with the filtration, then try to investigate why the HVAC filter is underperforming.
7 Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality
Table of Contents
- 1 7 Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality
- 2 Call Skylands Energy Service for All of Your HVAC Needs
In most situations, the reason behind the disappointing filter performance is one of the following:
1. Lack of HVAC Air Filters
This problem is common for people who have just moved into a new home. We assume that everything should work like they are supposed to. The HVAC system will work without filters but the house will have a suspiciously high amount of dust and allergens in the air. This red flag is the sign that there might be something wrong with the filter. In fact, there might not be any HVAC filter present. Perhaps the former owner removed them and forget to put in the replacements. Don’t let the situation persist for too long as the dirt will quickly build up around the coils, ducts, and blowers.
2. Incorrect HVAC Filter Installation
Often you will find filters in the system. The problem is that they are not quite installed correctly. Even the best quality air filters will not be able to work well when they are not in the right position. The particles are small enough to pass through the narrowest gaps so installers have to be careful about the details. Filters can only block effectively if their edges are completely sealed off. Otherwise, the problem will persist no matter how many times you get a replacement. Homeowners can install the filters themselves but letting a technician handle it is the way to go if you want guaranteed results.
3. Low HVAC System Runtime
Filters do not move. Only the air does. When the system is turned on, it will force air to flow from one side to another with the filters in between. This simple operation works as long as the air flows long enough through the system. The problem is that oversized systems tend to shut off too quickly since the desired temperature is reached right away. A lot of people think that bigger is always better when it comes to HVAC systems but that is not the case. Picking a size randomly can lead to several issues down the road. Experienced HVAC contractors perform complex calculations to determine each home’s exact requirements. If you are stuck with your current system, then you can try setting the fan to ON instead of AUTO so that it forces air to move longer. Another option is to consult an HVAC contractor about using a separate air purifier to help with the filtration.
4. Poor HVAC Air Flow
Sometimes the system runs well with proper air filter sizing but the airflow remains low. This makes it harder for the filters to catch dirt and dust. In this situation, the culprit is usually the return ducts that are too small for the needs of the system. It is also worthwhile to check whether the current filters are already too clogged with dirt. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended filter replacement schedule to prevent this issue. It is good practice, however, to check your filter on a monthly basis and replace it when it is dirty. Excessive dirt on filter surfaces prevents air from getting through. Airflow will plummet and air pressure will rise. The system will have to work harder to perform at a high level, thus consuming more energy. A regular filter change will avoid all of these headaches.
5. Low Filter MERV Rating
Filters are not made equal. Some are able to catch the finest particles while others can only block the larger ones. Their performance is indicated by their MERV specification. This is the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Filters with low MERV ratings will not be as effective in removing indoor air pollutants but they will be more affordable than filters with high MERV ratings. Consider whether your primary objective is to save money or to create a healthier environment in your home. The latter is arguably more important so paying a bit more for high-quality filters is worth it. This is particularly true for people who are spending more time indoors due to work or immobility.
6. Bypassing the Air Filtering
Inexperienced installers might make rookie mistakes that render the air filters ineffective. For example, they might totally bypass the filters by connecting the outdoor air duct to the system’s return side. This does not happen often but it can occur. Remember that HVAC systems can only perform as well as their installation. They are not like phones that have every component inside a sealed package. There are a lot of components that have to be assembled onsite so technicians have to be careful with every element. Always go for contractors with the best reputation in your area. Have your system undergo annual inspections to spot potential issues like this.
7. Incorrect HVAC Filter Placement
Air filters can only work well if they are where they are supposed to be. Trained HVAC technicians understand how systems work so they know exactly where to put these filters to achieve optimum results. This can seem like a trivial matter but the outcomes say otherwise. They have to be in the right spots.
Indoor air quality is highly dependent on the air filters. Observe your household for signs of poor air quality such as constant sneezing or chronic respiratory issues. These health problems might be due to improperly configured HVAC filters. Go through each item on the list above to figure out what the reason is. You can also seek the assistance of a local contractor for fast fixes and guaranteed results. They can conduct a maintenance visit and show you their detailed findings.
Call Skylands Energy Service for All of Your HVAC Needs
Skylands Energy Service is the leading provider of heating and cooling services in central New Jersey. Our team consists of certified technicians who are highly experienced in repairs, installations, tune-ups, and replacements. We can help with your HVAC system whatever your needs might be.
Skylands Energy Service offers these services at competitive rates. We will repay your trust with improved comfort, better energy efficiency, and lower cooling costs. Call us today to schedule a visit from our team and get free estimates.