You may have heard or seen us say at one point that it’s important to change out your HVAC air filter every 1–3 months. We aren’t just throwing this out as a random suggestion. We are offering this tip as a way for you to get the most effective and most efficient use out of your furnace or air conditioner. And considering how much we have to use both around here, chances are you’d like to do anything to keep your heater running powerfully and affordably, right?
Well, one method of doing this is by performing a small maintenance task—changing the air filter. You might be surprised to find just how important this small component is. It’s about much more than protecting or improving your home’s indoor air quality. In fact, that is not the purpose of this air filter at all. While there are whole-house air filtration systems available to improve IAQ, the furnace air filter is in place to protect the furnace itself from debris that can get inside and damage its components.
The Purpose of the Air Filter
As we said above, your furnace’s main air filter is not there for air quality. The goal of this filter is to protect the furnace. While today’s filters are designed to optimize air quality as much as possible, their true purpose is to keep the furnace’s blower fan from sucking in too much debris since it sucks in air at such a high rate of speed.
Dirt and other particles in the air of your home could potentially damage the furnace, pummeling it with that debris. The filter is in place to protect the heating system from these particles, and a dirty or clogged furnace can cause quite a lot of trouble.
What Happens When the Furnace Filter Is Too Dirty?
Both your HVAC systems—the furnace and air conditioner—are designed to take in a certain amount of air with each cycle they go through. This airflow helps ensure that you always feel comfortable, but also that the HVAC system motor doesn’t run for too long. Dirt and debris can clog up the filter and restrict the air coming through, which affects much more than your comfort.
While you will feel less comfortable due to this lack of airflow, you’ll also find yourself paying more to even use your furnace (or air conditioner, for that matter). The system has to run nonstop in order to compensate, which results in higher monthly bills. A dirty air filter can also lead to serious repair needs to resolve problems like:
- Emergency Furnace Repairs
- Freezing Coils
“How Do I Change the Air Filter?”
The good news is that it’s relatively easy to avoid paying to resolve these above-mentioned problems. Changing your air filter, that’s right. They’re affordable and you can stock up on enough for a year from your local hardware store.
When you go to change the filter, you’ll look for a marked point near the air handler. There will be arrows on the filter itself that direct you which direction to put the filter in. If you have any questions or concerns, you can of course reach out to our team and we will be happy to help!