3 Reasons Why You Absolutely Must Change Your Air Filter
The air filter has a huge role to play in the performance of your HVAC system. Made of spun fiberglass or pleated fabric, the material effectively traps dirt, dander, and debris that would otherwise circulate through your home, making you sneeze, cough and wheeze.
So, don’t neglect your filter.
Changing out the filter regularly will trim your energy bill, extend the lifespan of your cooling and heating system and improve your indoor air quality. Here’s how:
1. Cut Costs
When the filter is clogged, your HVAC system has to work harder to overcome the resistance. The harder it works, the more energy it has to draw. The result, naturally, is a higher electricity bill.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, a clean filter can save you between 5 to 15 percent on energy costs.
Let’s do some basic math: Say your monthly energy bill is around $200 during the summer. You’ll conservatively save about $20 a month. That more than covers the cost of replacement filters. You can pocket the rest. Cha-ching!
For especially hot summers and frigid winters, change your air filter every 30 days to better keep up with the demand being placed on your system.
2. Extend the Lifespan of Your Equipment
You should get 10 to 15 years out of your HVAC system before it outlives its usefulness. However, with proper care and maintenance, your heating and cooling system could last closer to 20 years. In addition to twice-annual tune-ups, changing your filter will go a long way toward prolonging the life of your HVAC system.
The fact is, that a clogged air filter is the primary cause of many HVAC breakdowns. A gunked-up filter puts a tremendous amount of strain on the air handler, resulting in inadequate temperature control, frozen evaporator coils, and ultimately, system failure. That’s a costly problem that could’ve been prevented.
3. Improve Indoor Air Quality
The smaller the particle a filter captures, the higher the filter’s MERV rating. That’s the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. We recommend filters with a MERV of 5 to 7, which captures between 20 and 69 percent of large particles. The MERV scale goes as high as 20. (Frankly, anything over 7 is overkill in our opinion and could hinder the performance of your HVAC system.) Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines.
As long you’re regularly changing out the filter, your indoor air quality will remain healthy. Most problems occur when the filter becomes clogged, losing its efficiency, and sending allergens and dander back through your vents. Achoo!