Why You Need to Regularly Change Your AC Filter

Air filters are such an integral part of a well-functioning HVAC system, and are often taken for granted. Not only do we trust our filters to catch all the unwanted debris circulating in our homes, but we depend on their protection from bigger bits and pieces that may get sucked in and cause great damage.

When we neglect to change our filters, we risk unnecessary financial costs, our health, and safety.

These are just the basics. Here are more reasons to regularly change your filter.

Consequences

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the top five environmental public health risks and indoor air quality is among them.

This comes as no surprise as most people spend most of our time indoors and “freshen up” the house with many types of air pollutants. These chemicals can range from a mix of air fresheners to cleaning products and they risk polluting our homes without adequate filtration.

If you don’t change your filter you risk:

Higher energy bills
The blower fan must work harder to release air and can potentially wear down.

Improper air distribution/circulation
This is another financial concern if the HVAC’s temperature sensors aren’t registering the temperature that signals the system to power down or turns on/off. It puts stress on your motor, costs you more, and makes you uncomfortable.

Your system heating or freezing up
The cooled or heated air is unable to travel the furnace, heat pump, or AC as easily and although you’re paying the same amount for oil or gas you don't get a change in indoor temperature.

More materials on the air filter meaning more room for moisture
Moisture is a breeding ground for mold to cultivate and form colonies. If enabled to grow it can create a barrier for proper circulation. They can also increase the level of pollutants in the air and cause system damage depending how much and how far they grow.

Particles settling in ducts and household surfaces
Since the air isn’t properly circulating, what would usually be filtered gets carried out. Now you have duct cleaning to worry about when it’s so much simpler to change your filter.

Benefits

The negative presents different problems, but here is what you can gain from replacing your air filter.

Extended HVAC unit life
The most common reasons for system breakdowns are unchanged air filters. The best possible outcome is repair work, but in the worst, it’s time for replacing. When the filter is replaced you get the most out of your system and it’s easy to do. Your equipment doesn’t have clogging and there is lower risk for damage to your ducts and compressor.

Great efficiency/lower energy costs
Your system works at a great speed and quality and you can save 5-15% on energy costs.

Healthier air quality
The air is cleaner so it’s safer for those prone to allergies or asthma.

Heating and cooling systems are maintained
Early system failure will be prevented as the dirt and dust won’t be building up in the system.

Changint It

Changing your air filter is a simple decision that can impact you in multiple ways. Being aware of when to change it is also important. Typically, it’s best to change it every month or two, especially if you have pets.

Air filters are usually inexpensive and don’t require professional assistance. Most of the time you just slide out the old one and place in the new one.

To check the size of your filter you can find the unit’s minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) range your unit falls into. A high MERV can be too tight or too much and can consequently result in something like a clogged filter even after changing, so it’s important to choose the right size.

For any questions regarding finding the MERV the number for Vital AC is 800-825-2609.