If you moved into a new home or had someone change the filters on your Tampa heating or air conditioning system for you, you may notice that whoever did the job put on the wrong size filter. This is not uncommon and is usually the result of an effort to save either time or money. However, in the long run it actually costs both. Here is how you can fix the problem of a wrong size filter.
The WRONG Way
If you have a filter that is too big for your Tampa AC system, it may seem like an easy enough fix– just fold it over or trim it down, right? Not so fast.
Folding the filter over makes for an imperfect seal. Air will leak through and around the bend, bypassing the filter entirely. This causes dirt and debris to build up on the fan, slows down air flow, degrades performance, decreases air quality and overall makes a big mess that you will have to pay to fix or clean up later.
Bending or cutting the filter also decreases its structural integrity. The whole filter can collapse while installed, creating not just a performance issue and a potentially costly repair, but also possibly creating unsafe conditions.
Furthermore, don’t give into the temptation to run your HVAC system without a filter for the time being. The debris will quickly build up in your AC system, as well as being blown into your home. Heating and cooling systems should always be operated with the proper filter installed.
The RIGHT Way
So, what do you do when you have an air filter that is the wrong size? The only solution is to find the right size. If you are having trouble finding the right air filter for your system, try these tips:
- Refer to your owner’s manual for the filter model number.
- Bring the make and model information of your heating/cooling system to the store and ask someone there for help.
- Have a professional inspect your system and replace the filter. (You should have a professional inspection once a year, anyway.)
- For HVAC systems that are large or have special dimensions, special order custom filters to fit.
Above all, never operate your Tampa AC system without a clean, correctly sized filter properly installed. For any help with your air filters, give Ierna’s Heating & Cooling a call!