Whether we’re talking about your forced-air cooling system, furnace, or heat pump, you need to change your air filter. This is an important part of maintaining your HVAC system and should be done every 1-3 months depending on the type of air filter and the level of contaminants in your home.
But, why? More on that below!
In the meantime, keep in mind that professional maintenance should always be done by a trained and licensed technician. We encourage and urge you to handle the air filter on your own, and even keep the area around your outdoor unit clear of debris. But a thorough inspection, comprehensive cleaning, and any component adjustments should only ever be done by trained professionals.
We digress, though—why is it so important that you change your air filter between maintenance sessions?
You’ll Pay What You Deserve to Run Your HVAC System
A clogged air filter caused your HVAC system to work too hard. What we mean by this, is that when airflow is blocked, you may be tempted to adjust the thermostat, thinking that’s the problem. But this only causes your compressor to run longer, increasing wear and tear on the system.
And the harder your HVAC system has to work, the more money you’ll be losing. You may be surprised by just how much a dirty air filter drags down the energy efficiency with which your HVAC system performs.
Think about it this way—have you ever blown through a straw free of blockage, and then blown through one with a wrapper bunched up in it? Obviously, the one with the obstruction will be harder to blow through. This same concept applies to your air filter—all of the conditioned air distributed throughout your home must pass through the filter, so clogs are a serious concern.
Your System Won’t Need to Work Too Hard to Do Its Job
The toll a dirty air filter can take on your HVAC system is very real. Our pros have seen plenty of HVAC systems suffer unnecessary and excessive wear and tear simply due to dirty air filters. While you’re definitely going to face the occasional repair need for an HVAC system no matter what you do, there’s no reason to help HVAC problems along by neglecting to change their air filter.
You’ll Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
Many homeowners hear the words “dirty air filter” and assume that the primary concern will be with their indoor air quality. Your indoor air quality certainly isn’t helped by a clogged up air filter, even though the main cause for concern is the interior components of your HVAC system.
A very dirty air filter can cause unfiltered air to pass around the filter if resistance is great enough. After all, airflow will always follow the path of least resistance. This means that the dirt, dust, and other debris that usually gets trapped by the filter will begin circulating through your home with no escape. Changing your air filter every 1-3 months can help eliminate this problem.