A dirty air filter can have a significant impact on your HVAC system, your wallet, and your health. When an air filter is clogged, it reduces airflow to your HVAC system, making it work harder and use more energy, which costs you more money. You may also be unable to keep your home at the right temperature. This means that it may have to work for longer periods, making the system difficult.
If the air filter is clogged and can't trap contaminants like it used to, those things can go back to the air that everyone in your home breathes. Immediate problems may include headaches, itchy eyes or throat, and dizziness. If air filters are not changed and problems persist, long-term effects could be respiratory disease, heart disease, or cancer. A clogged air filter makes it difficult for your unit to work properly.
The amount of effort caused by a dirty filter means that the motors in your systems are working harder than they were designed to work. This results in much higher than normal utility bills. In fact, according to the Department of Energy, a clogged filter can cause a 15% increase in energy consumption. Homeowners who ignore filters in their heating and air conditioning systems risk increasing energy costs, damaging expensive equipment, and decreasing indoor air quality and personal health.
The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) rating of an air filter measures how effectively the filter prevents dust and other contaminants from passing through the filter and entering the air stream. If you have more than one cat or dog, or if you have chronic allergies or asthma, it is generally recommended to change your air filter every 20 to 45 days. Air filters are usually made of spun fiberglass (the same as attic insulation) or & pleated paper framed with cardboard for added stability and rigidity. If you have a higher efficiency filter and don't change the AC filter often enough, a buildup of moisture can cause mold to build up in the ducts, leading to serious mold infestations.
With a clogged air filter, air will not flow through the coils properly, causing them to stop working and causing a total system failure. But why is this? How can something as simple as changing an air filter be so important? The truth is that not changing your air filter on a regular basis can cause a number of problems with your HVAC system. In general, filters with a MERV 16 rating or lower are considered HVAC system grade filters for residential, commercial, and general hospital use. Using an air filter with a MERV rating higher than recommended by the manufacturer of your oven or air conditioner may impair its performance.
Depending on the type of air filter you use, you will need to follow different programs to ensure that the filter is always working and achieving optimal performance. Getting the most value out of your home can be as easy as changing air filters. See below to learn what can happen if you don't change your air filters regularly.