Air filters play a crucial role in your HVAC system’s ability to reliably heat and cool your home. They also play a crucial role in your ability to maintain year-round indoor air quality. However, unless you change the filter on your HVAC system regularly, you can miss out on these important benefits and potentially put your system and personal health at unnecessary risk.
Dirty Filters Make Your System Work Harder
While in use, all HVAC systems rely on a sustained flow of air to keep running smoothly and efficiently. Any undue restriction in airflow will make your system work harder than it normally would. In turn, HVAC components that work too hard experience a drop in efficiency and use more energy. In some cases, they may also break down after operating in a high-strain environment for an extended period of time.
One of the surest ways to make your HVAC system work overtime is failing to change out an air filter full of accumulated dust, pet dander, dirt or other airborne particles. That’s true because the return ducts on your system carry all interior air through this filter as part of the normal heating and cooling process. By sticking to a regular filter replacement schedule, you can avoid the vast majority of the potential problems associated with indoor airflow restrictions.
Dirty Filters Make Your Indoor Environment Less Healthy
Throughout much or most of the year, your HVAC system plays an unavoidable role in determining the quality of your home’s indoor air. When the system operates as designed in a sealed environment, essentially all of the air in your home travels through its connected ducting network. A clean air filter increases the quality of the air running through the system by trapping dust, pollen and other substances that produce allergic reactions and trigger the onset of asthma symptoms in individuals affected by that respiratory condition. Conversely, when a dirty filter reaches its maximum ability to hold airborne materials, allergy- and asthma-provoking substances can steadily accumulate in your indoor air.
Change Your Filter Regularly
The only way to avoid the problems associated with dirty HVAC air filters is to change your filter regularly. If your home is typical, count on replacing your current filter once every three months. Large families, households with members susceptible to allergies and/or asthma, households that rely heavily on HVAC use and households with at least two pets commonly do better with filter replacements scheduled every month. Replace a damaged filter or a damp filter without delay.
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