If you are like many other homeowners, you might forget to change your air filter regularly. Many people have to put it on the calendar or set a reminder on the phone to remember this task. How often you need to change air filters depends on various factors. However, you should do it at least every three months. If you have pets or live in an area with elevated dust and other allergens, you may need to change your air filters sooner. Dirty air filters can have many consequences.
The air filter in your HVAC system is responsible for trapping dust, dirt, pet dander, pollen, and other tiny particles before they enter your system and circulate through your home. Dirty air filters are less effective at removing indoor contaminants, and they could have a significant impact on your health. People with allergies, asthma and other respiratory issues could suffer from poor indoor air quality due to dirty air filters. Aside from health issues, mechanical problems and air temperature issues could also arise from clogged and dirty filters.
Creating a checklist and changing your air filters regularly is the best way to improve air quality and ensure that your HVAC system is running effectively and efficiently. Let’s look at some signs you need to change your home air filter.
Increased Dust Around Your Home
One obvious sign that you might need to change your air filters is the presence of dust around your home. While there will always be some dust hiding in corners and on bookshelves, an increased amount of dust could result from dirty filters. As discussed, the job of your air filters is to catch the dust and other contaminants before they circulate throughout your home. More dust could blow through your vents than normal if you have a clogged filter. If you notice an unusual amount of dust on furniture and other surfaces, particularly around your air vents, it is a sure sign that you may need to install clean filters.
Inconsistent Air Temperatures
In many homes, having cool or warm spots in a few areas is a normal occurrence. Factors such as the amount of sun and shade an area gets or the home’s location can impact temperatures in certain areas of your house. If you notice that these areas are expanding or that you are experiencing inconsistent temperatures throughout your home, dirty air filters could be to blame. A dirty filter won’t allow an adequate amount of air to enter your system. As a result, your heating or cooling equipment will struggle to deliver consistent temperatures to every part of your home. If you have problems with inconsistent temperatures, check your air filters before troubleshooting any other concerns.
Increased Energy Bills
Depending on where you live, seasonal changes could create variations in your energy bills. In general, it is estimated that your HVAC system could account for almost half of your annual energy use. If your energy bills begin to creep higher than usual for the season, dirty air filters could account for the extra energy use. Your HVAC system relies on adequate airflow to heat or cool your home efficiently. A clogged air filter prevents air from entering your system, and your air conditioner or furnace will have to work much harder to deliver comfortable air. As a result, your energy usage will increase along with your utility bills.
Your home air filters are not the most complicated part of your HVAC system, but they can drastically impact efficiency, air quality, and comfort in your home. Regularly changing out your air filters will benefit your health and your wallet.