Changing HVAC Air Filters: Is Once-a-Month Really Often Enough?

family in bed

If you were to place a mask over your mouth and nose that would reduce the amount of air getting to your lungs, then proceed to run for about 15 minutes, you would probably know what your HVAC system is experiencing every time it runs with a dirty air filter. Just like you, your heating and cooling system needs clean, fresh air to run efficiently and avoid major problems.

Did you know?

  • The #1 reason for HVAC system failure is a dirty air filter? By restricting the air flow to your HVAC system’s air handler, you place additional strain on the fan motor, which increases the chance of failure as time goes on. Without adequate air flow, the system will overheat and cause damage, potentially meaning a full system failure. Filter replacement is a small price to pay to extend the life of one of the largest financial investments in your home.
  • Dirty air filters make your fan motor work harder and consume more energy. Blower fans push the air through the filter. If the filter becomes too clogged with dust, dander, and debris, then the blower has to strain harder to pass the air through a clogged filter. With reduced airflow, you can experience hot and cold spots in your home, and it can be difficult to reach your desired indoor temperature levels.

With less air flowing through the system due to a clog, the central air conditioning and heating system will run longer in an effort to heat the home, raising energy usage. In fact, according to a study by the Florida Public Service Commission, the second most common cause of high energy bills in the summer are clogged air filters. One of the easiest and quickest ways to reduce your energy bill is to replace your air filter.

Consider these quick facts about air filter quality and related issues:

  • A dirty air filter makes your heating and air conditioning system as well as your ducts get dirtier faster. This can lead to costly HVAC cleaning expenses, or a need to replace your HVAC unit or HVAC components sooner than you expected.
  • If the heating and cooling coils are caked with dirt and particles that would normally be trapped by the air filter, the system will work harder and be more prone to freezing over or burning out.

Getting Your Filter Replaced When You Need It

You may ask, “How often should I change out my filter?” The basic rule of thumb is to replace it once a month. But it’s always better to replace your filter whenever you see it’s necessary.

How do you know when it is necessary to change your filter, then? This is a good question since all homes have different traffic concerns and environmental challenges. Make sure you have a few replacement filters on hand and when the filter looks dirty change it. Surprisingly simple, right?

As we have already stated, the environmental conditions in every home are different. If you have children who play outside, the constant exiting-and-entering of the house brings in dust and dirt that other residences may not experience. Pets present their own challenges when it comes to keeping the air filter clean, too. Add to these factors air leaks from the attic and ducts, fibers from carpets and more, then you can see why every house is different when it comes time to changing the filter.

After changing your filter monthly and taking notes of its condition, you should be able to determine how often it should be changed out to maximize efficiency, both system-wise and cost-wise. Of course, professional routine maintenance is the best way to ensure the overall health, safety, and longevity of your air conditioning unit. To get Denham Springs heating and cooling professionals at your door, call (225) 500-2035 and connect with Bitter Heating & Air Conditioning. We can perform HVAC maintenance and repairs, as well as help you understand the best air filter change routine.

Want a free estimate, or more information about our services? Contact ustoday!