Should I Change Out My Furnace Filter?
It’s getting warmer and you know what that means, AC will be kickin’ and the expectation is that your home will be nice and cool. This comes with a few necessary and simple home maintenance items the first of which I’d like to hit on is switching out your HVAC filters.
Changing your air filter for most people is going to be simple process of either grabbing a step ladder to get to the ceiling returns or walking over to the wall where your returns are located. HVAC technicians around the country have similar recommendations and reasons for this maintenance task but here are my five reasons for changing out your HVAC filter on a regular basis.
- It improves home air quality
An HVAC air filter has one job, to clean and filter the air traveling through your HVAC system. The fibers on the filter work to trap small particles that we may not be able to see including, dust, pollen (shout out to all my seasonal allergy people out there), animal fur and dander, mold spores, dirt and other little nasties floating through the air.
If we don’t take care of our filters and change them out then those small particles make it further into the HVAC system and eventually into our home air. Cleaning or disposing of the old air filters can lead to a happier healthier life as we spend so much time indoors during those hot summer months.
2. It improves energy efficiency
Not only does the filter pick up all of those little nasty pieces that helps to improve your indoor air quality, but it also can lead to higher energy bills. Now keep reading as that may sound like I’m advocating for no filter. When the filter media picks up all of those tiny particles that’s less air that can flow through the filter media until it becomes so clogged with gunk that we didn’t want floating around the rest of the home that there is a major restriction on the air flow that can get through the filter. When we change out the filter, we improve the efficiency of the system which leads to the next reason….
3. It extends the life of your HVAC unit
Now we all know that owning a home can get expensive when things start to break but the benefit of owning is that we are fully in control of all of the components and systems and the maintenance that can extend their lives (no more 2 am calls to maintenance because the heater doesn’t kick on). If we do everything we can to keep air flowing smoothly and freely through the system, the system doesn’t have to work as hard and will therefore have less wear and tear over time that can lead to a failure and a need to fix it now.
4. It lowers the frequency of repairs
This goes with the last point that was made in that it will lower the amount of times that you need to repair your HVAC system. As with all mechanical items, eventually parts wear out and break which is just a part of the life cycle of the machine. The frequency with which you need to repair these expendable items can be greatly affected by the replacement of your AC filter which means that it’s going to be a lower long term cost to you.
5. Better temperature control
The better air runs through the system the better the system will work to maintain the internal temperature of your home. That being said if you have a clogged up filter it can lead to lower air flow meaning less control of the temperature and eventually more wear and tear on the system which we all know leads to undue stress and headaches when we could have just switched out the filter!
So there we have five reasons to switch out your AC filter. These reasons are by no means comprehensive of the benefits to this simple procedure but they go a long way to helping maintain a happy, healthy, functional home.
How often should you change out the filter you may ask? Though everyone has their own school of thought and all HVAC systems do have recommendations on the intervals to replace the filters I tend to recommend the 90 day rule. That means every three months go ahead and switch out your filters and if they look dirty before that time then switch them out. It’s a small price to pay to avoid a big price tag tomorrow.