Your HVAC system has an air filter that helps to keep the air in your home clean. Over time, this filter will become clogged with dust and other debris and will need to be replaced. When you fail to replace your air filter on a regular basis, it can cause a number of problems for your HVAC system. Not only will a dirty air filter reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system, but it can also lead to premature wear and tear.
When you replace your air filter, it is important to properly dispose of the old one. Although you can dispose of your used air filter in the trash, when you move it, the trapped particles can become airborne and end up right back in your home. This will lead to a decrease in indoor air quality. The best way to dispose of an old air filter is to follow these five tips:
Quickly Place Your Old Air Filter in a Plastic Bag
When you replace your air filter, your first concern should be to contain the old air filter so that the particles it contains do not become airborne. One way to do this is to quickly place the old air filter in a plastic trash bag. You should always have a plastic bag ready before you begin replacing your air filter so that you can contain the old one as soon as you remove it. Once it is in the bag, you can seal it up tightly. Try not to move the filter around too much by keeping the bag as steady as possible.
Never Shake a Dirty Air Filter
Along with the visible dirt and dust on an old air filter, there are also millions of tiny particles that you can’t see including viruses and bacteria. When you remove your old air filter from the HVAC system, avoid shaking it as this will release these particles into the air. If you must move the filter, do so gently and try to keep it as level as possible. Once you place it in a bag, seal the bag immediately to prevent any particles from escaping.
Use Tape to Secure the Bag
After you have placed your old air filter in a plastic bag, you can use tape to secure the bag. This will help to ensure that the bag does not open and release the particles it contains. Using the drawstrings of your trash bag is not enough to keep it closed as the vibration from moving the bag can cause it to open. Be sure to use tape that will adhere well to plastic such as duct tape. You can use as much tape as is necessary to secure the bag shut.
Dispose of Old Air Filters in an Outdoor Trash Can
While taping or moving your plastic trash bag containing your old air filter, be careful not to release any particles into the air. Once you have the bag securely taped shut, you can dispose of it in an outdoor trash can. This way, even if there’s a hole in the bag, the particles will not be released into your home. If you don’t have an outdoor trash can, you can also take the bag to a local dumpster. Be sure that the trash can has a lid to keep any particles from escaping. If possible, try to keep the trash can as far away from your home as possible.
Never Leave Your HVAC System Without an Air Filter
It is always a good idea to shut off your HVAC system before replacing the air filter. However, you should never leave your system without an air filter in place. This can lead to a number of problems including decreased efficiency and premature wear and tear. Be sure to have a new air filter on hand so that you can put it in place as soon as you remove the old one.
Do You Need Help Replacing Your Air Filter?
If you’re not sure how to properly replace your air filter or if you don’t have the time, you can always hire a professional. A professional HVAC contractor like Baylor Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you choose the right type of air filter for your home and replace it for you. This will ensure that your HVAC system is running efficiently and that your air quality is the best it can be. Contact us today at 812.425.8435 to schedule a consultation.