7 Reasons Your Filter Isn’t Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

hvac air filterYou might think that the air inside your home is clear and pristine. However, indoor air has tiny particles mixed with it. This can sometimes be seen floating under direct sunlight. These particulate matters are so small that they can pass through tiny holes easily. We inhale these particles without knowing, and they get into our lungs. Unfortunately, having a lot of these indoor air pollutants in the air is detrimental to our health.

The filters in your HVAC system can help improve indoor air quality. They trap these particulates so that they do not get distributed throughout your home. HVAC systems have these filtration systems built in. However, there are times when the filters might not be performing as they should. When you notice this situation in your home, you need to determine why the HVAC air filters aren’t improving indoor air quality.

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7 Reasons Your Filter Isn’t Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

These are some of the reasons behind your HVAC filter not working optimally in your home:

1. No HVAC Filter In Place

missing hvac air filter

If you recently moved to a new house, you might have assumed that you have a perfectly working HVAC system in place. You think that it has complete components, but that might not be the case.

You might have noticed that there is excess dust and dirt around the house. Check if your HVAC unit has a filter in place. The previous owner might have removed it and forgot to place it back. Therefore, nothing is filtering out the air, so every pollutant gets distributed instead of filtered out. This could lead to dust accumulation in the coils, ductwork, and blowers.

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2. Incorrect HVAC Filter Installation

Having a high-quality filter doesn’t mean it is enough to remove the contaminants. It should also be installed correctly so that it can work as it should. Otherwise, the dirty air might end up passing through any gaps around it instead of through the filter. When the particulates are not blocked properly, the indoor air quality will suffer. Make sure you replace the air filter as recommended by the manufacturer. You might be replacing it regularly, but the effort will go to waste if it isn’t done correctly. Have a professional HVAC technician help you with this maintenance work if you are having trouble with it.

3. Insufficient HVAC System Runtime

hvac air vent

Filters work when air flows through them. Therefore, the HVAC system should be given sufficient runtime so that enough air is forced through the filters. If you have an HVAC system that is too large, it reaches the set temperature too quickly. It shuts off prematurely so the system doesn’t have enough time to allow the filter to work as it should.

Ensure that you have the right-sized HVAC system. Hire a professional HVAC tech to make the necessary calculations so that you can determine the right heating and air conditioning unit size for your space. If you still think your IAQ needs improvement, consider buying a standalone filter. You can also consider a whole-house air filter that works in conjunction with your HVAC system. Consult with your local, trusted HVAC contractor to help you determine how you can enhance your home’s indoor air quality.

4. Not Enough HVAC Airflow

The airflow could be the issue in some cases. Limited airflow happens when there is reduced filtration volume. This is typically a result of having undersized return ducts. It could also be due to clogged filters. When this happens, air cannot pass through properly, and the air pressure increases. You will also experience reduced system efficiency. Make sure to change the filters regularly so that they can block contaminants properly while clean air passes through without a hitch.

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5. MERV Rating Is Too Low

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value refers to the filter’s ability to trap small particles. Filters with low MERV ratings cost less, but they are not as effective when trapping air contaminants. High MERV rating filters might be more expensive, but they are highly effective when it comes to performance. When you are on the lookout for new filters, don’t go for the cheapest one you can get your hands on. Think about your product’s worth and ensure you are getting the value of your money. Spending a bit more will be worth it if you get the clean air you deserve, especially if it is your family’s health and well-being on the line.

6. Not Filtering Outdoor Air For Mechanical Ventilation

The proper installation of your HVAC system is a must if you want it to work as it should. You might have bought a good brand but all of that will have gone to waste if there was a mistake in the installation. For instance, the outdoor air duct might have been connected to the system’s return side. If this happens, the air will not pass through the air filter. This rarely happens, but when it does, your home will suffer from the effects. A highly experienced HVAC contractor can detect this issue and resolve it immediately.


7. Filter Is In The Wrong Location

Understanding your HVAC system’s operation and its airflow is essential as it will allow you to find the best place to put the air filter. It might seem like a trivial matter but putting the air filter in a less-than-optimal place will only result in poor performance. Make sure that they are in the right location so that they work properly.



The air filter is essential in keeping healthy indoor air quality in your home. Some of the symptoms you might notice when you have poor IAQ include coughing, runny nose, and constant sneezing. Check your HVAC filter to see if one of the reasons above is the problem. Knowing a bit about your air filter will surely come a long way in ensuring you have the indoor air quality your family deserves. Contact your local, trusted HVAC contractor to help you with any filter problem you will have. They can conduct a thorough check and repair any issue right away so you and your family can enjoy staying indoors again.

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Rest assured, Hart Home Comfort offers the most competitive HVAC rates in the area. We can help increase your energy efficiency, home comfort, and cost-effectiveness through our maintenance services. We can also find the best repair and replacement solutions to fit all your needs and budget. All our work comes with a guarantee. Book a service appointment with us today and call Hart Home Comfort. We provide free, in-home estimates.

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