You have almost definitely heard the advice that you should be changing your HVAC air filter. It’s the only piece of HVAC maintenance that you’re urged to do yourself, without needing a technician to do it for you. So you’ve probably located it and figured out how to change it, whether that means throwing away a disposable filter and putting in a replacement, or cleaning your reusable filter. If you have any questions about that, we’re happy to help with furnace air filter replacement in Denton, TX.
But you may not know much about why your HVAC air filter needs to be changed, and what happens if it goes unchanged for too long. Understanding this can help you to determine exactly how often to do it.
What the Air Filter Does
Like any other part of your HVAC system, the air filter is important for proper function. Because so many of the components of the system are very sensitive, particles such as dust and pet hair can cause problems. They can decrease the efficiency of your HVAC system, wasting fuel, costing you more on your utility bills, and have more impact on the environment. They can decrease effectiveness, as well, leaving you struggling to get your home to a consistently comfortable temperature. They can even cause angry noises from your furnace!
The air filter exists to protect the other components from these particles. It traps all sorts of contaminants like dirt, pollen, and even mold spores. With these foreign invaders caught in the filter, the rest of the system is able to work smoothly. It will be more efficient and effective, and it will even have a longer lifespan, so you don’t need to worry about replacing it nearly so soon.
And because the filter is trapping all those particles instead of sending them flowing through your HVAC system and out into your home, your indoor air quality will be better, too. This means breathing easier and even having less dust around the house to clean up.
What Happens When It’s Not Changed
With the air filter capturing all this debris and particulate matter so it doesn’t contaminate your HVAC system, it gets clogged up. As the filter has more and more dust in it, the air has a harder time getting through it. Left unchanged, your air filter will slow airflow through the system. This doesn’t just slow things down. The struggle of trying to function through this clogged filter means your system is working harder and harder, which leads to wear and tear on the system, wasted energy and higher bills, and difficulty keeping your home at the temperature you want it to be.
How Often Filters Should Be Changed
The general recommendation is that HVAC air filters be changed every 1-3 months. Now, this is a pretty wide range, so we’ll get more specific.
- Every 3 Months: If you’re not using the system much, perhaps in transitional seasons like right now when the outdoor temperature is more comfortable, a filter can go three months between changes without causing a problem.
- Every Month: If you’re using the system constantly, during periods of extreme heat or cold, or if you have reason to believe there is additional contamination, from nearby construction dust for example, you should change the filter every month.
Contact PRK Services, Inc. today with any questions about your HVAC system.