Changing the air filter is such a simple task, but it has a profound impact on everything that your heating and cooling system does in your home. A forced air HVAC system uses air to do its job. Therefore, proper airflow is extremely important to the functioning of the system. The filter’s job is to clean the air as it enters. If it’s stopped up, it’s going to result in less airflow in your home.
The quickest way to assess your HVAC system’s airflow is to ask yourself whether it’s heating and cooling properly. If you find yourself feeling cold when the system is supposed to be keeping your home warm and comfortable, it could be as simple as a filter issue. (Of course, it could also be someone not understanding how to work the thermostat.) These are very simple things that homeowners generally need to be aware of and doing themselves.
Your heating and cooling system is not going to work properly if it doesn’t have a clean filter. A clogged up filter is going to cause extreme stress on your HVAC equipment, which if left uncorrected, could cause it to break down and/or fail prematurely. A little filter maintenance goes a long way and can potentially prevent you from having to replace your entire system. It would be no different than not changing the filters in your car (e.g., the oil filter or air filter) and just leaving the dirty, old, clogged filters in there. If you neglect the filters for a long time, you’re going to have car problems.
I also think we overlook the fact that the HVAC system is circulating air in our home that we breathe into our bodies. A lot of times if we don’t have effective filtering, we’re probably going to be breathing air that’s not good quality. (This could cause a whole lot of different issues.) The heating & air system could be throwing around any dust and mold present in your home. Keeping a clean filter is a very simple task, but it’s so important to keeping the air clean, keeping your system happy, and making sure you’re comfortable in your home.
If you’re a first-time homeowner, you might be unsure about how often to change the air filter. The general rule of thumb is once a month. However, there are different types of filters out there. The finer the filter is (meaning the smaller particles that it catches), the sooner you’re going to have to replace it because it gets stopped up. If you have pets in your home, that can also cause the filter to get stopped up more quickly. It very much depends on the situation. Some whole home filters last 6 months or even a year, but they’re much more expensive. Just pay attention to dust, pet dander, laundry lint, and other types of things going on in the home. I would recommend doing a visual check of the filter. If it’s got a lot of stuff on it, then it needs to be changed. Once you get a handle on how quickly it builds up, you’ll know how often it usually needs to be replaced.
If your HVAC system needs care, reach out to the team at Wisler Plumbing & Air or give us a call at 540-483-9382.