Should I Have Air Filters in My Home Vents?

“Do I need air filters in my home vents?” It’s a common question we hear from Montgomery, AL, area homeowners, especially those who are used to the traditional furnace filters and have learned about the option of filtration in vents. The HVAC pros of Hans Heating and Air explain the usefulness of air filters in home vents and why you should consider vent filtration.

An Air Filter’s Job

Many homeowners believe the purpose of a furnace filter is to remove particles to enhance air quality for home occupants. This however is a secondary (but valuable!) benefit provided by furnace filters. The filter’s main job is to remove airborne particles to keep them out of the HVAC system. In turn, this also keeps contaminants out of the air you breath, an added bonus!

Air moving into the HVAC system needs to be filtered to keep contaminants out of equipment interiors. When allowed to pass through the system, dust, dirt and other particulates settle on components and disrupt their ability to perform. Debris buildup within the HVAC system damages component performance and reduces the energy efficiency of the system overall.

Do I Need Air Filters in My Home Vents?

In addition to the filter that is inserted in the return duct to filter air before it reaches interior HVAC system components, homeowners also have the option to use vent filters. Air filters in home vents are used to provide additional filtration to capture contaminants and keep cleaner air circulating through the HVAC system.

Vent filters are positioned directly behind return air grilles. Air from the home moves through this vent into the return ducts that cycle air back to the HVAC unit for conditioning in a central HVAC system. With air filters installed in home vents, your HVAC system benefits from two filters that protect against particulates instead of only one. Cleaner air passes into and through the equipment to help eliminate dust and debris buildup within the unit’s interiors.

Air filters in home vents are especially useful in return vents to eliminate the contaminants introduced to the home each day. We bring contaminants into our homes in many ways – on our clothing and shoes, through open windows and doors, through cooking and through perfumes and cleaners used within. When these contaminants are introduced to the home, the furnace filter has a heavier load to tackle. Air filters in home vents help reduce the burden on the furnace filter and keep cleaner air moving into the HVAC system.

Caring for Air Filters in Home Vents

Just like the main air filter, vent filters need regular maintenance. As the filter behind the vent catches contaminants, they build up. Once the filter has become laden with trapped contaminants, it is no longer effective for capturing new particles. Continuing to run your HVAC system with a dirty filter behind a vent can cause airflow issues, as the dirty filter may restrict air moving through the return ducts and prevent the HVAC unit from receiving the adequate airflow required to perform efficiently.

If you choose to use air filters in home vents, make sure to change them on a regular basis, as you do your main furnace filter. Check the manufacturer’s recommendation to learn how frequently replacement should be performed. Just like your main filter, it’s a wise move to check vent filters monthly to assess their condition and determine if an earlier change is necessary.

Filtration Solutions from Hans Heating and Air

If you have questions about vent filters, call Hans Heating and Air. We help Montgomery area homeowners determine the best filtration solutions for their homes, both to protect HVAC equipment and deliver cleaner indoor air.

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