No matter how long you’ve owned a property, you’ve probably heard about the regular maintenance your HVAC system will need to receive on a consistent basis. The importance of changing or cleaning your air filters has likely come up in conversations, but how critical is it to stay up-to-date on this regular maintenance after all? Believe it or not, skipping this simple task can have real, lasting consequences on your home and your health.
When you forget to change your air filters on an often and regular basis, dust and other particles can start to build up, creating a clogged or dirty HVAC air filter that will have negative consequences on your home’s indoor air quality. Don’t make your HVAC system work harder than it has to by forgetting to change out the heat and AC filters. Instead, we recommend that you remember to change the heating and AC filters every 90 days or so to help you find the best possible results. Otherwise, if you forget, you may find yourself dealing with dirty and clogged air filters that are wreaking havoc on your home.
In our most recent blog, the NATE-certified HVAC technicians at Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning discuss the importance of regularly changing your air filter and the consequences that can come with neglecting to do so. For all of your home’s HVAC system needs, contact Thiele, the company Central Indiana homeowners have trusted since 1883.
Unhealthy and Poor Air Quality
For pet owners and those with asthma or breathing difficulties, clogged air filters can wreak havoc on your health and make it harder to breathe. Unkempt air filters may negatively affect indoor air quality by spreading pet dander, dust, and other allergens throughout your home. This may lead to irritated eyes, nose, and potentially breathing problems. Well-insulated homes rely on these filters to save them from potential diseases and to keep clean air circulating throughout.
Air filters that are overdue for a change are a common cause of HVAC system failure. Over time, dirt builds up in the heating and AC filters, causing components such as the motor to go into overdrive, which may eventually overheat your unit. More often than not, overheating can be remedied by a fix from an HVAC system technician. If it can’t be remedied, it may be a reason to change out the system altogether.
The technicians at Thiele will advise you on the proper course of action for your system. Professionals advise that replacing and changing your air filters is one of the easiest ways to extend the life of your unit.
High Energy Costs
Homes all across the Indianapolis area spend a lot of money on energy costs each and every year. In fact, the average home spends more than $2,000 on energy costs and bills every year, according to The Department of Energy. A clogged and dirty air filter will need to work harder, causing your HVAC system to use more energy whenever your heater or air conditioner turns on. So when you regularly change your air filter, you could end up saving a lot of money; possibly up to even 15% on utility costs. We recommend that you regularly change your filter so that you can find those savings of up to 15%.
Your HVAC Air Filter Options
Now that the consequences of forgetting to change or clean air filters are clear, know that there are a few different options. Depending on your system, you may be locked into a particular type of filter, so be sure to check with a technician to learn what works for your HVAC system.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, or MERVs, report a filter’s ability to capture larger particles between 0.3 and 10 microns (µm). The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the air filter is at capturing particles.
There are several different types of air filters available for your home, so be sure that you’re getting the one that works best for your current situation. Some of the most popular choices include:
Fiberglass air filters: Fiberglass filters are disposable and typically the cheapest and most common type of air filter. With a MERV rating of about 4, fiberglass filters are not the best choice if people in your home suffer from asthma, allergies, or other respiratory issues.
Pleated air filters: Slightly more expensive than fiberglass filters, pleated air filters typically have a MERV rating between 5 and 8 and are effective at filtering out small particles, including dust, mold spores, and other dander. The more pleats that the air filter has, the more effective it is at filtering out particles.
Electrostatic filter: These highly efficient filters use electricity to catch particles – including dust and pet dander. Electrostatic filters have a MERV rating of about 8. Many electrostatic filters are reusable, which means you’ll need to wash and clean them fairly often. We recommend that you clean them every couple of months.
HEPA filters: HEPA filters are a very good choice for those who suffer from respiratory issues, as they filter out up to 99.7% of particles, including bacteria, viruses, mold, pet dander, and dust.
Importance of Changing Your Air Filters
Your home’s air filters are designed to, quite simply, filter the air and keep dirt, debris, dust, and other particles out of your air flow. When the filter hasn’t been changed in over three months, your filters will become clogged and dirty, allowing more dust and debris to enter your air flow. This problem can be corrected by simply remembering to change your dirty or clogged air filter and replace it with a clean one.
If it’s been a while since you’ve been able to change your air filter, you might’ve noticed lower indoor air quality whenever your heating or air conditioning kicks on. Depending on the existing conditions of those within your home, this could potentially be damaging to the health of your loved ones. People that struggle with allergies and asthma rely on things like air purifiers and air filters to breathe easily within the home.
Make sure to supply them with higher indoor air quality and give them the help they need to breathe easier by making sure that you change your filter every few months.
Contact Thiele for Your Home’s Heating and Cooling Needs
Whether you need heating, cooling, or indoor air quality repair or installation, Thiele is the HVAC system company to call to get the job done right. Thiele has kept Central Indiana homeowners comfortable in their homes for nearly 140 years. For more information about our HVAC system services, contact Thiele today to book an appointment.