How Does Changing the Furnace Filter Impact the Entire Heating and Cooling System?
Too many homeowners take their forced-air heating and cooling systems for granted, and the top way they do this is by simply forgetting to change the furnace filter. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that changing the furnace filter is an optional step in HVAC maintenance. It’s essential both for the operation of your furnace, heat pump and/or A/C, as well as for the system’s longevity and indoor air quality.
Most HVAC experts suggest inspecting the air filter monthly and changing it when it looks dirty. Frequency of changing the air filter, however, also depends on unique factors in your own home. They include how much work the furnace or A/C is getting, the presence of furry pets in the house, how much pollen is in the outside air, and whether you have leaky ducts or a particularly dusty house.
Why Change the Air Filter Frequently?
- Operational efficiency and performance – A clean air filter in your furnace, heat pump or A/C system allows for optimum airflow, which is an essential requirement for a smoothly operating forced-air heating or cooling system. A dirty filter impedes this airflow, forcing your equipment to work harder to deliver the same results.
- System longevity – When your furnace or A/C is working harder to push air through a dirty filter, sensitive components – especially in the blower or air handler – will wear out much sooner than they might have otherwise. This means that malfunctions eventually will arise, and more frequently. You may have to replace your HVAC system sooner.
- Better indoor air quality – A dirty filter will have a harder time capturing and removing contaminants in the air. While at first the accumulated dust and debris on the filter may actually stop more materials from getting through, eventually the force of air will begin blowing these contaminants past it. With A/Cs and heat pumps, mold spores and bacteria may gravitate to refrigerant coils. Your health may be adversely impacted by contaminated air.
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