It’s not every day that we recommend a homeowner does maintenance on their own. In fact, we never recommend it—at least not when we’re talking about professional maintenance This is where our technicians come in and thoroughly clean your system inside and out while making adjustments and repair recommendations.
But there is a maintenance task you can, and should, be doing on your own. And that is changing your air filter every 1-3 months.
Your HVAC system’s air filter plays a vital role in the overall performance of your air conditioner (and your heater, for that matter). So, it’s important that you pay attention to it. Read on as we uncover what exactly an air filter does and why it matters.
The Purpose of the HVAC Air Filter
There is a large amount of debris that can circulate throughout your living space, and that all eventually ends up in your air ducts. If the debris enters your air conditioner instead, it can create some big problems. This air filter literally exists to keep dust, dirt, and other debris out of the HVAC system.
The reason we recommend changing your air filter is that it cannot rid itself of the particles it collects. If the air filter gets too clogged up, airflow is restricted, which causes a number of problems. Wondering what these problems are? Read on:
If your AC has to struggle to circulate air throughout the home, it will run longer trying to achieve the desired temperature on your thermostat, and as a result, will cost more to run than it should. You’d be surprised by how much airflow is restricted due to a clogged filter, and how that plays a role in efficiency.
Additionally, a clogged air filter will cause an air conditioner to short-cycle—the industry term for when an HVAC system turns itself on and off in rapid succession, never completing a full cooling (or heating) cycle. Short-cycling is the symptom of a problem in your air conditioner, like a clogged air filter, as well as something that creates further problems.
When your air conditioner has to run longer, and essentially work harder, than it should have to, there is a rapid accumulation of wear and tear. This leads to operational problems, and will eventually lead to a system breakdown. Of course, you don’t want to be stuck dealing with costly repairs and untimely replacements, right? Changing your air filter is an easy way to combat this, while replacing a broken down air conditioner isn’t!
Poor Indoor Air Quality
As we stated above, the primary purpose of this air filter is to protect your HVAC system, not your indoor air. But, a clean and functional air filter will have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing. When an air filter is too clogged up, dust and debris have nowhere to go except to be recirculated through your home, therefore lowering the quality of your indoor air.