The Importance of Regularly Changing Your Air Filter

Learn about the consequences of neglecting to change your air filter regularly from an HVAC expert. Find out how it affects your health, energy consumption, and HVAC system lifespan.

The Importance of Regularly Changing Your Air Filter

As an HVAC expert, I have seen firsthand the consequences of neglecting to change your air filter for a year. It may seem like a small and insignificant task, but it can have serious implications for your health, energy consumption, and the lifespan of your HVAC system. Let's start with the basics. The air filter in your HVAC system is responsible for trapping contaminants and particles from the air, ensuring that the air you breathe is clean and healthy. However, if this filter is not changed regularly, it can become clogged and unable to do its job effectively.

This means that those contaminants and particles can make their way back into the air that you and your family are breathing. The immediate effects of a clogged air filter may include headaches, itchy eyes or throat, and dizziness. But if you continue to neglect changing the filter, the long-term consequences could be even more severe. Respiratory diseases, heart disease, and even cancer are all potential risks when your air filters are not changed regularly. But it's not just your health that is at risk. Your HVAC system itself can suffer from neglecting to change the air filter.

The evaporative coils, which are responsible for removing heat to keep your home cool, can become damaged if the air filter is clogged for too long. This can lead to system failures and costly repairs. If you've never changed your air conditioning filter before, it's best to have an HVAC technician do it for you the first time. They can show you how to do it properly and recommend how often you should change the filter based on your specific system and usage. It's important to understand that changing your air filter is not just about purifying the air you breathe. It also plays a crucial role in protecting the sensitive components of your HVAC system.

Like dust that settles on a flat surface, particles can also settle on the rotating fan blades and other surfaces within the system. This can lead to cracks, damage to heating and cooling coils, and even electrical and mechanical issues. During the peak cooling season, it is recommended to change your air conditioner filter every month. This not only helps to maintain good indoor air quality but can also save you up to 15% on your monthly electricity costs. Airflow restrictions caused by a clogged filter can make your HVAC system work harder and consume more energy, resulting in higher utility bills. It's worth noting that some air conditioning systems have filters located inside return air ducts that are spread across multiple rooms in the house.

Depending on the type of system you have, it may be possible to check these filters yourself and see if they need to be changed. However, for most systems, the filter is located near the ventilation system and may require professional assistance to access. Remember, all of the air in your home passes through this single point multiple times a day. So if the filter is clogged, it means that all of the air in your home is passing through dirty and contaminated filters. This not only affects your indoor air quality but also puts unnecessary strain on your HVAC system. As an HVAC expert, I cannot stress enough the importance of regularly changing your air filter.

Not only does it help to maintain good indoor air quality and protect your health, but it also ensures that your HVAC system runs efficiently and has a longer lifespan. Air filters are designed to trap tiny particles and contaminants from the air. But when they become clogged with build-up, they create an almost impenetrable barrier that restricts airflow. This can lead to multiple problems throughout the HVAC system, including damage to components and higher energy consumption. Most air filters have a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating, which indicates the type and size of contaminants they can effectively trap. It's important to choose a filter with a high enough MERV rating for your specific needs.

And remember, the cost of replacing an air filter is minimal compared to the potential costs of neglecting it and causing damage to your HVAC system.

Wilma Melen
Wilma Melen

Infuriatingly humble pizza specialist. Unapologetic communicator. Wannabe music buff. Passionate internet evangelist. Total travel scholar.

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