Air filters are an under-appreciated, crucial part of your home’s heating and cooling system. They act as the first line of defense for equipment and keep indoor air clean by capturing debris and allergens. Not only do clogged air filters pose health and safety risks — they are the leading cause of system failures.
Equipment manufacturers and contractors, like KCA Services, typically recommend changing your air filters at least once every two or three months. Keep reading to find out why.
Importance Of Routine Filter Changes
As your HVAC system pulls in air and pushes it into your home, that air passes through filters. Over time, those filters collect natural pollution from your home, including dust, dirt, mold spores, pet hair/dander and any other particles the air may have. As this happens, the mesh becomes denser until air can’t pass through it. Allowing your air conditioner to run with a dirty, clogged filter has many impacts on the health of your family, system and home.
Indoor Air Quality
Dirty filters circulate dirty air through your unit and in your home. Because they are unable to clean your air, they continue accumulating dust and particles and force more contaminants into your home. This dramatically reduces your indoor air quality (IAQ) and worsens until the filter is completely unable to allow air to pass through it.
Changing filters regularly purifies the air, ensuring you are breathing clean, fresh, healthy air at home.
Health And Cleanliness
When your IAQ improves, so does your and your family’s health. Filters also collect pollen and dust mites, so poor IAQ greatly affects asthma and allergy sufferers, children and the elderly.
Removing small particles from your air doesn’t just keep you from breathing them in. It also prevents them from collecting in your house. Limiting the dirt, dust and pet hair circulating and settling on surfaces saves you time and energy on cleaning days!
HVAC Efficiency And Protection
Clean air filters protect your cooling system by keeping particles from collecting on internal components, like motors, fans and other moving parts. They also allow maximum airflow, preventing overheating and operation failures.
On top of that, fresh filters keep your unit running at peak efficiency, which lowers energy bills. Clogged filters make it difficult for your AC to get the amount of air it needs to operate, so it works harder, longer and uses more energy to achieve the same cooling effects.
A clean, energy-efficient system has a longer life, saving you thousands of dollars in possible repair or replacement costs and utility bills.
Indicators Of A Dirty Filter
Once air filters have collected enough dust, pet hair and other particles that it fills, your air won’t be filtered or reach your air conditioner.
Here are some signs that you need to change yours:
You or a member of your family have a chronic respiratory illness, congestion, difficulty breathing or an itchy nose.
- Built-up particles create spaces for mold or bacteria to grow on filters and in ductwork, where they enter the indoor air that you breathe 24/7.
Utility Bill Changes
Your utility bill is higher than usual, despite not changing your thermostat settings.
- When your unit’s blower fan works harder to push air or its temperature sensors don’t trigger it to turn off (due to lack of airflow), it draws more energy and can quickly wear out because of the strain.
Home Comfort Changes
In the opposite sense, your utility bill hasn’t changed but your home comfort has decreased.
- This is also caused by restricted air movement; conditioned air either cannot travel from the unit, causing it to overheat and shut down, or isn’t circulating evenly to the rooms in your home.
The house seems dirtier because your filter is no longer catching dust and dirt, allowing it to accumulate in the ductwork, another contributor to poor airflow.
If you aren’t sure how often to change your filters, checking them each month is a great way to figure it out. Most need changing at least once every three months, but furry friends inside and poor outdoor air quality can affect this. Once light is no longer visible through the filter, change it.
Boerne HVAC Maintenance
Routine tune-ups are also necessary to keep your system working well, avoiding unexpected breakdowns. And if you have questions about your filters and upgrades, technicians can help.
Our KCA professional experts perform comprehensive cleanings and inspections to ensure your AC efficiency is as high as possible. After serving Boerne, San Antonio and the surrounding Hill Country areas for over 47 years, we can handle any of your HVAC needs!