Why You Need to Change Your Air Filter
Simply put, an air filter is the device that prevents unwanted material and debris from entering your HVAC system. When air filters go without being changed, they become the primary cause of heating and cooling problems. The dust that the air filter normally catches can build up quickly, which is why changing your air filter regularly is so important.
The most common heating and cooling system is a forced-air system that uses a “heat exchange” to heat or cool air that’s blown throughout your house. As the new warm or cold air flows into the rooms of your house, the HVAC fans pull existing air out of the rooms. This circular system continues until the desired temperature is reached.
Unchanged Air Filter Consequences
A clogged air filter eventually re-circulates all the dust and debris (that it’s normally supposed to catch) back into your home. So the air that’s pumping out of the filter will be full of allergens. For people who are asthmatic or allergic to dust, an unclean air filter can cause a host of reactions, such as headaches and cold symptoms.
Reduced Air Flow
With the blower fan, which pushes air through the filter, straining to get past a clogged filter, you’ll experience reduced air flow.
Inefficient Cooling (or Heating) System
This reduced air flow then causes hot and cold spots in your home, making it harder to reach a desired indoor temperature level and keep it consistent.
Increased Power Bill
With less air flowing through the house and the HVAC straining to keep up, the system will run longer and more often in an effort to heat or cool the home, which raises energy usage. The inefficiency of the system increases rather quickly (in direct relation to your bills) as the filter becomes more clogged.
An unclean air filter can lead to your heater malfunctioning or stopping completely. The most expensive repair from a dirty filter may be the internal damage it does to your HVAC system.
If your air filter starts clogging during the summer season, when the cooling system is on, this can cause the evaporator (or cooling coil) to freeze. When not enough air is moving past the coil, the condensation that would normally be scattered in the form of cold air builds, freezing the coils. Lack of air flow causes this issue and can eventually lead to your air conditioner failing.
Changing the Air Filter
Changing your air filter will take roughly five minutes. Turn off the furnace, remove the old filter, insert the new clean filter, and then turn the system back on. This procedure should be done every month, or if the filter is higher quality, every three months. As a general rule of thumb, the more pets and people living in the house and/or if there are people in the house that have allergies, the more often you should change the filter.
If you don’t want to worry about when you need to change your filter, set up a maintenance plan with us at Georgia Air Specialists and we can take care of it for you.