Sanford, FL homeowners tend to experience some pleasant weather throughout the year. But it’s not uncommon for temperatures to exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer and drop below freezing during the winter. If you live here, having a dependable HVAC system to keep you comfortable is a must. One of the most important components of an HVAC system is the air filter. However, HVAC filters in Florida take a beating due to the state’s hot and humid environment. Over time, if left unchanged, air filters will turn black.

What Causes Black Air Filters?

There are several reasons that air filters turn black in Florida houses. Mold and mildew thrive in the warm and humid weather, eventually discoloring the filters. The state’s elevated pollen counts, dust and other outside pollutants may also build up on filters and cause them to become discolored. The constant use of air conditioners to beat the heat further hastens the clogging of filters. Other potential causes of black air filters include clogged air ducts and poor ventilation. Hiring a professional to determine the exact cause is paramount to avoiding black filters in the future.

How Do Dirty Air Filters Hurt the Home?

A black air filter indicates significant particle collection, which can seriously harm a home’s structural integrity. Clogged filters reduce airflow, which increases the workload of the HVAC system. The system might overheat, become less efficient or even break down due to the increasing burden.

Black filters also increase the likelihood of mold development in the home. Over time, mold development can harm the property by compromising indoor air quality and weakening building materials. To reduce these hazards and maintain a healthy living environment, it is essential to replace the filter regularly.

How Do Dirty Air Filters Hurt Your Health?

Because it indicates a significant degree of collected impurities, a black air filter can be harmful to your health. Filters accumulate allergens, mold spores and bacteria. When these containments exist, they aggravate preexisting health concerns and cause respiratory problems. These airborne particles can even cause respiratory discomfort and other health problems in your pets.

What Is the Best Air Filter to Use?

There are some things to think about when selecting an air filter, the most important of which is the filter type and its effectiveness. Pleated, fiberglass, electrostatic, activated carbon and ultraviolet (UV) filters are some of the most common kinds. Combination filters tackle many pollutants at once by combining various technologies for thorough filtering. For better particle and odor removal, for instance, choose a hybrid filter that combines HEPA with activated carbon.

It’s critical to comprehend the unique requirements of your house when selecting a filter. To choose the type that is best for your home, professionals suggest doing an indoor air quality test to detect contaminants. These tests provide useful insights into your home environment by analyzing mold spores, allergens, pollutants and volatile organic compounds. With this information, professionals can recommend filters that are ideal for your home’s air quality and effectively remove certain pollutants.

Ways to Make the Filter Last Longer and Better

You must act quickly if you find a black air filter. Quickly replacing the filter will return the airflow to its ideal level and save your HVAC system from experiencing any further strain. It’s also smart to do some investigating to find out what might be causing the discoloration, including looking for mold or excessive pollution. Safeguarding your HVAC system and your health requires preventive measures like checking indoor air quality regularly, fixing air leaks and replacing filters regularly.

Stick to a Replacement Schedule

The kind of filter, the home’s atmosphere and the system’s use are the three main variables that determine how often to replace the air filter. For advice, see the manufacturer’s recommendations. Everything from allergies to pets to the local air quality might affect how often you need to update your filters. Take advantage of smart home technologies or calendar reminders to establish a routine replacement schedule.

Invest in Ductwork Cleaning

Experts have the knowledge and tools to clean ducts thoroughly, removing impurities properly. If you try to fix it yourself, you can end up damaging your system instead of getting the benefits you were hoping for. When it comes to indoor air quality and problems like black filters, it’s important to rely on experts.

Eliminating dust, dirt and other possible pollutants from ducts requires a multi-step cleaning process. After removing and dislodging particles with specialized equipment, professionals clean and vacuum the complete HVAC system. Depending on several factors, you may need to have your ducts cleaned every three to five years, or perhaps more often. Two of these factors include whether you have any pets in the home and whether you have allergies or asthma. If you do, you’ll need to invest in more frequent duct cleaning.

Use a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats can reduce the likelihood of black filters by making the most efficient use of HVAC systems. By allowing for predetermined temperature settings, they lessen the need for continuous system running. This, in turn, reduces the strain on the filter.

Filter replacement sensors and reminders are also available on certain smart thermostats. To maintain a constant airflow and avoid excessive accumulation, these sensors monitor the status of the filter and trigger replacement alerts at the appropriate times. Homeowners are more likely to follow maintenance schedules when they receive automated reminders to change filters.

Choose the Correct Filter Frame

Air conditioning and heating systems rely on filter frames to secure air filters in place. If you want your filter to work well and not discolor, picking the proper frame is a must. Most experts recommend using strong frame materials, such as metal or plastic, to hold filters in place. Frames that fit snugly stop air from escaping, so every bit of air goes through the filter to catch particles. You can keep the filter in good working order for longer and lessen the chances of it becoming black by making sure the frame is tight and fits snugly.

Regularly Service the HVAC System

Regular HVAC maintenance by experts includes a thorough examination of all components. Air conditioning systems benefit from regular inspection and cleaning of coils, which leads to better air exchange and less wear and tear on filters. Professionals check the burners in heating systems to make sure they’re burning fuel efficiently and without accumulating too much soot. In addition, professionals evaluate airflow, check ducts and fix any possible leaks to ensure an even distribution of air. These steps help filters do their job well, extend the life of your HVAC and prevent problems that might arise that contribute to black filters. For optimal system performance and indoor air quality, regular expert maintenance is a necessity.

Don’t let a black air filter cause harm to you and your home. Our professionals provide air filter changes as well as indoor air quality testing, ductless installations and HVAC maintenance. Contact American Air & Heat to schedule a filter replacement for your Florida home.

Meet the Author
Jenny Mott
Jenny Mott

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