Andrea Unzaga, Filter King
During an emergency, your home will face several instances of duress and you may need to deal with multiple problems if the situation grows worse. The average home is capable of being damaged in many different ways depending on the scenario and this could pose a risk to residents. Of course, you have the more obvious risks like flood damaging and collapsing objects. But you also need to be aware of the more subtle dangers that come with storms, including the pollutants that could fill the air around a home. This is where air filters come in, cleaning up incoming airflow before it becomes a problem.
Air Filter Emergency Usefulness
Air filters have the express purpose of keeping the air coming into a home clean through means of their design. The air filters in your home are built using specialized mesh weaving that is tight enough to trap irritants and particles while still letting clean air pass through. This is especially important to note because during a disaster there may be irritants or smoke particles being pushed around in the air. It is best to make sure these particles do not enter your home because they can end up causing breathing problems for residents inside. Air filters can help prevent poor air quality from spreading throughout a home and causing problems after the emergency has passed.
Issues with Poor Air Quality
It is important to keep the quality of air inside a home fresh and clean in order to prevent medical problems from developing. There may also be problems with mold and bacteria that could begin to grow in your air system over time if it is not properly protected. The air filters in a system also make sure that the air leaving a home is cleaned as well. For homes that are affected by an emergency leading to smoke or other harmful particles filling a room, the filters clean out air leaving a room so the pollutants do not circulate. As long as you take care of your air systems and keep your filters clean, it should help make sure you will continue breathing easy during an emergency.
How Often Should I Change My Air Filter?
The frequency that you should change your air filter depends largely on several factors, including the size of the home, how often you’re home, whether you have pets, and whether you have allergies. For an average size suburban home:
- Family home without pets: every three months
- Home with a cat or dog: every two months
- More than one pet or a resident with allergies: every three to six weeks
- Vacation home or single-resident home with no allergies: every six months
While you’re establishing your filter replacement timeline, check the filter regularly for signs of buildup that could prompt an earlier replacement.
General Air Filter Tips
One issue with air filters most homes seem to have is that the owners do not swap out the filters often enough. Air filters are made of a mesh weave that becomes dirtier over time the longer they are left in a system. When the filters become too dirty, they begin to start blocking all air leading to dryness and stagnation inside of your home. This can lead to medical issues as well so it is your best interest to keep the filters in a system fresh and clean.
You should also be sure you know what systems need air filters and how often they need changing. Your HVAC system, of course, needs new air filters but it may need more than one and in different sizes as well. Your furnace may also need new filters in order to keep the heated air coming through clean. Make sure the filters in your home are ready today so that if an emergency does happen you can rest assured knowing breathing easy won’t be a problem.
Billie Nicholson, Editor