When we advise our customers to replace their HVAC air filter every 1-3 months, we’re not just offering a general recommendation. We’re offering this advice as a way for you to get the best performance and the most effective use out of your HVAC system as possible. And considering how much you’ll need to use your heater in the coming months, chances are you’d like to do anything you can to lower your energy costs while doing so.
One way to do this is by performing one small “DIY” maintenance task—changing the air filter. You might be surprised to find just how important this component is. It’s about much more than protecting your indoor air quality. In fact, that’s not even the main purpose of the air filter—it’s in place to protect the actual HVAC system itself. More on that below.
The Importance of Your Air Filter
As we mentioned, the purpose of your air filter isn’t actually to protect the quality of your indoor air, but rather to protect the HVAC system itself. Today’s air filters are designed to optimize air quality as much as possible, but because your furnace’s blower fan sucks in air at such a high speed, it can also suck in contaminants and debris.
Dirt, dust, and other particles in the air of your household could potentially damage your HVAC system. The filter is in place to protect the system from these particles, and a dirty and clogged air filter will create problems.
The Problem with a Dirty Air Filter
Your HVAC systems are designed to take in a certain amount of air with each cycle they go through. This airflow helps to ensure you always feel comfortable, and also that the HVACC system motor doesn’t run for too long. Dirt and debris clog up the filter and don’t allow the right amount of air through, which impacts more than just your comfort.
Certainly, you’ll feel less comfortable if airflow is limited, but you’ll also eventually find yourself paying more to even use your HVAC system. The system will have to run nonstop in order to compensate, and this results in higher energy bills. A dirty air filter can also lead to some serious repair needs, to solve problems like:
- Emergency furnace repairs
- Freezing heat pump coils
How to Change Your Furnace Air Filter
There are very few tasks we advise our customers to do on their own when it comes to your HVAC systems. But changing your air filter is something you can and should do on your own. Air filters are relatively affordable, and you can typically stock up on enough for a year from your local hardware store.
This filter is usually located in a marked point near your air handler, and there will be arrows directing you on which direction to put the filter in. Of course, if you have any questions or concerns you can reach out to our team and we’ll be happy to help!