AC Engs -- Air Filter -- 02-15-16

Why Is Changing My Air Filter So Important?

Air filters are standard equipment on today’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems. These simple devices perform a number of important functions, and they must be changed regularly in order to reliably fulfill those functions. Let’s look at some of the top reasons for replacing your dirty HVAC filters as soon as possible.

Maintaining HVAC Efficiency

When dust, dander and other substances clog the surfaces of your HVAC filters, the resulting reduction in air flow can lead to a significant decline in the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. In fact, depending on the specifics of your situation, failure to replace a dirty filter can reduce overall system efficiency by as little as 5 percent or as much as 15 percent. This could translate into hundreds of dollars in needless utility costs over the course of a year.

Avoiding System Failure

The air flow reductions that decrease the efficiency of your HVAC system can also place undue strain on individual heating and cooling components. In turn, HVAC components under excessive strain can eventually stop working properly or fail altogether. By regularly changing your air filter, you can avoid the this costly scenario.

Avoiding Mold Growth

Dirty air filters sometimes grow damp after coming into contact with water condensation. This dampness can easily encourage the growth of mold, a fungus linked to serious respiratory issues such as asthma and allergic reactions. In addition, dampness trapped by dirty air filters can lead to moisture-related problems that interfere with the normal function of an HVAC system.

Maintaining Indoor Air Quality

Air quality is a major factor in your ability to feel comfortable in an indoor environment. HVAC filters help promote air quality by trapping common indoor pollutants such as pet dander, pollen and dust. However, a filter can only hold so many pollutants before it loses its protective function, and dirty filters can degrade rather than support the health of a building interior.

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filters?

Typically, you will need to change out your HVAC air filters at least once every three to four months in order to steer clear of common problems. However, a number of factors can decrease the effective lifespan of a filter all the way down to a single month. You may need to consider monthly replacement if you have multiple pets, live with a lot of people, have a household member with asthma or allergies, or run your HVAC system throughout the year. Regardless of the age of a filter, you should also replace it immediately if it gets wet, receives some sort of physical damage or shows visible signs of mold growth.

Make sure to follow this blog for future tips on maintaining the health of your HVAC system.