No matter if you’re still using your AC routinely or you’ve turned on your gas or electric furnace to run for short times, there’s one job for your HVAC system you need to stick with: regularly changing the air filter. Any central HVAC system that uses forced-air (air conditioner, furnace, heat pump) has an air filter in place to help it run optimally. The filter eventually becomes clogged with the debris caught in it, and when that happens, the HVAC system will suffer from many problems.
But I don’t have any air quality filters in place
The air filter we’re talking about isn’t part of the air filtration system to improve indoor air quality. It’s a filter that comes as part of the HVAC system. It does the job of protecting the interior of the HVAC cabinet, not improving air quality. The filter is located where air from the return vents comes into the HVAC system, and this air often contains indoor particles such as dust and lint. The air filter catches these particles and prevents them from creating damage to internal components of the AC and heater.
Why you must change the filter regularly
The filter must be changed every 1 to 6 months. The frequency depends on the power of the filter, as well as how often the HVAC system is used—heating, cooling, or even “fan only” mode. There are several good reasons to make sure the HVAC system has a clean air filter:
- It keeps efficiency high: A congested filter blocks the airflow into the air handler and through the furnace/AC/heat pump. This strain makes the motor of the blower work harder, much the same way you have to put more effort into breathing when you have a stuffed-up nose. A clean filter prevents the blower motor from draining excess energy and raising your utility bills.
- It protects the HVAC system: This is the basic task of the filter. But it won’t be able to do it if it’s clogged. It will distort, allowing unwanted particles to slip around the edges. In extreme cases, the filter may collapse and fall into the blower motor.
- It can hurt air quality: The filter may not be in place to clean your home’s air, but it can make it worse if allowed to become too dirty. Mold and mildew may start to grow in the filter, which is common in our humid climate.
- It may lead to service interruptions: The strain a dirty filter places on the blower motor can trigger an overload on the circuit, tripping a breaker. When you encounter a tripped breaker due to the AC or heater, check on the filter to see if it needs to be replaced.
Whatever you require for your cooling and heating in Clearwater, FL this season—and the seasons after—you can rely on us. We’ll change the filter for you each time we maintain your HVAC system, and we’re glad to show you how to do the job on your own during the rest of the year.