Your HVAC system is very similar to your respiratory system – just for your home. It breathes – in and out – just like you. And, just like your respiratory system, if it is unable to breathe properly, then it is going to suffer, and eventually suffocate completely. The best way to keep the air moving is to clean or replace your filter regularly. Unfortunately, because HVAC filters are typically “out of sight, out of mind,” it is easy for homeowners to continue running their system – even with dirty filters in place. If this continues, then serious consequences may occur.
Learn about the most common issues related to dirty air filters here.
Limited or No Airflow
The role of your HVAC filters is to prevent particles from moving through your system where they can accumulate and cause all types of damage. This doesn’t just mean dust, it also includes leaves, dirt, pet hair and virtually anything else that may be tracked into your home. All of this can become trapped in your filter and once it is there, it will remain there until the filter is either cleaned or replaced.
While operating your unit without a filter isn’t an option, using a clogged filter isn’t an option that is much better.
You won’t be saving money when you purchase fewer replacement filters. If you run the system with a clogged filter, then it has to work harder to reach the target temperature. All this extra work will come at a cost – which will be reflected in your energy bills. Having a clean filter is absolutely essential to superior HVAC operation.
If your AC or furnace cycle stops before it reaches the temperature goal, then this effect is referred to as “short cycling.” An air filter that is clogged can trigger this by trapping stagnant air in your system, which may “trick” it into stopping the cycle early or even force it down completely to avoid overheating. This can result in excessive wear and tear on the components of the system and may even lead to unpredictable humidity and temperature swings in your home.
When you are running your air conditioner, then dirty filters may begin to trap air that is cooled in your system. This can result in the buildup of frost on your evaporator and condenser coils. If this frost keeps building, then it may cause the unit to completely stop working because it is seized up.
Changing Your HVAC System Filter
The lifespan of a HVAC filter is going to vary; however, most of then are designed to last for one to three months. Be sure you know how often your filter needs to be changed or cleaned to avoid the above-mentioned problems. Failure to do this can result in the need for costly repairs and other issues along the way.
A professional should also be called for regular inspections, repairs and tune-ups a few times a year. This will prevent any further issues from occurring.