Property managers do much more than provide their tenants with a comfortable living space. But unfortunately, much of the action involved in making the place safe, immaculate, and liveable goes unnoticed, and they don’t even get any credit for all the effort they put in for their tenants.
After all, it is the responsibility of the landlord and homeowners to keep the rental property maintained and in line with the residential housing regulations. But that’s the big picture; up close, many little problems like a broken window, out-of-order fixture, or other repair work are often missed.
Case in point: Air filters!
Unfortunately, landlords and tenants forget about these and do not replace them promptly.
So what’s the best time to change your air filters? Who is responsible for changing them? Keep reading to know everything about them.
Who is Responsible for Changing the Air Filter?
Is the owner responsible for changing the air filter or the tenant? The answer depends on the rental agreement between the two parties.
But at times, it’s not clearly stated in the rental agreement. In that case, you can always talk and work out an arrangement with your tenant.
Usually, the property managers compensate their tenants for the filters and ask them to replace them, but you can also agree on a different arrangement. However, in either case, it is always better to have the air filter installed or replaced before the new tenant moves in.
The filters must be replaced regularly to maintain air quality and ensure efficiency.
How Often Should the Air Filters be Changed?
Most air filters require a replacement every one to three months, so whether it’s a small home, a large villa, or an apartment, the rules for replacing the filters are the same. However, some factors may affect the longevity of the air filters, such as:
- Air filter quality
- Number of residents
- Outdoor air quality
- Health conditions of the people in the apartment of the house
- Indoor air quality
However, no matter how well the filter quality is and how less it’s used, three months is the maximum you’ll get on one filter. Moreover, note that high-rise buildings and apartments that are higher up are more likely to get more contaminants in their ventilation systems. So their air filters will get dirty much faster.
Changing an Air Filter
Changing the air filter is easy. All you need is to know which filter fits best with the system and the location of the filter.
So even though it’s not going to be at the top of your to-do list, make sure you regularly replace the air filter to allow clean and healthy air flow through the home or apartment. Just follow these steps:
- First, turn off the unit. If you can’t switch off the main equipment, turn off the main supply.
- Get hold of a screwdriver and take out the vent or register cover.
- Check for any instructions or arrows for directions for placing the filters in the unit.
- Take out the old filter and dispose of it.
- Place the new filter and replace the cover.
- Secure the cover back in place using the screwdriver.
Key Considerations for Buying Filters for the Tenants
When installing the air filter in the apartment or home, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Of course, it depends on the size of the apartment or house and other factors we discussed earlier.
Plus, here are some major factors to consider before you head out to place an order or get a subscription.
You need to get the right size of filters for the register. If the filters do not fit accurately, there may be chances of contaminated air circulating in your home, affecting the filter’s efficiency.
When you look up air filter sizes, you’ll find two options:
- Custom sized
- Cut to fit
Cut-to-fit filters are cut out per a certain dimension. However, they may still not fit perfectly and are not considered an ideal construction.
Whereas custom-sized filters are manufactured per the given dimensions, these are lasting, efficient, and fit perfectly to the HVAC equipment.
MERV rating affects the air quality, flow, and filtration. Air filters may have a low or high MERV rating. The higher rating is best to keep the air clean and free from all contaminants like pollen, dust, mold, bacteria, viruses, and pet dander.
However, these provide less airflow as the filter resists the air; hence, the system has to work harder and wears out much more quickly.
Usually, the HVAC equipment comes with a recommended MERV rating for the filters.
Type of Air Filter
The type of filter you use impacts the air quality and efficiency of the HVAC equipment. Here are three main classifications or types of filters.
This filter has layers of fiberglass reinforced with metal grating to give them structure. These are quite cheap but also less effective than the other types of filters in the market.
Pleated Air Filters
Polyester and pleated filters are of higher quality than fiberglass and filter the air of dust and other contaminants.
HEPA filters are the top filters in air filtration. They efficiently remove about 99.97% of air particles from air that are 0.3 microns or more in size.
The Best Air Filters
Property managers often want to invest less in the maintenance and replacement of air filters. They usually go for those filters that don’t cost a lot but deliver. MERV 8 or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value filter keeps the house safe from pollen, bacteria, dust, mold, and dust mites.
MERV filters are generally very affordable. If you own a large property or a complete complex, you can easily buy these filters in bulk without much of a financial struggle.
However, since the choice of filters greatly depends on the size of the house or apartment and other factors, here’s a list of the best air filters for different residential places.
- Premium Apartments: If you own a premium or luxury apartment, you can ask for higher rents for quality, high standards of living, and other facilities. Everything – including the air filters – should be of premium quality to match the standard of your rental property. MERV 11 filters are highly recommended for such high-end places as these take care of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and even pet dander.
- Houses: Since the rental homes are larger than the apartments, there’s more air to clean. The air is also more likely to be contaminated and requires a better filter to remove the smallest allergens and pollutants. MERV 13 filters are recommended for such homes as these are a level up the MERV 11 and take care of smoke, smog, viruses, etc.
- Large Houses: Large, luxurious houses require stronger filters that take care of larger air quantities and much more contaminants than in a regular-sized apartment. Hence we recommend a MERV 13 or higher grade filter for these homes.
Whether you are a tenant or a property owner, it is important to maintain the air filters to ensure quality, healthy airflow regularly. As the property manager, the responsibility for maintaining the house falls on you.
Before you let in a tenant, make your replacement schedule. First, check the filter every month, and you’ll get an idea of how long it can last for your apartment. Then make sure to replace it regularly based on the same timeline; remember, all it takes is five minutes!