Your HVAC system uses a filter in the air ducts, usually near the units themselves, to help clean the air out. While these filters aren’t generally as refined as a HEPA filter, they still pick up many different particles, including dust, pollen, dust mites, and much more. However, HVAC filters are usually disposable: That means that they get filled up with particles, slowly clogging over time, and need to be replaced so that the system can keep cleaning the air.
What happens when you don’t replace your filters? Here are some of the side effects, and why it’s so important to keep tabs on your filter.
Dirty Filters Don’t Do Their Jobs
Believe or not, a filter that can’t do its job will make the air dirtier! A clogged filter can no longer remove nasty particles from the air, which means that the air stays dirty – and frequently gets dirtier over time. This may be particularly noticeable in winter, where air tends to recirculate throughout the home without much change except extra dust. This can grow annoying and may even be dangerous if you end up with a mold or mildew problem, since your ductwork may not be cycling spores through the air as well, making new infestations more likely.
Airflow Gets Reduced
When a filter gets worn out and clogged, air can’t pass through it as quickly. In severe situations, this significantly slows down the airflow in your system. When air can’t cycle as quickly, it also can’t hold its temperature as easily. That means that your HVAC system has to work a lot harder than it used to, to control your home’s temperature. This, in turn, means that components in your HVAC system will wear out more quickly, which leads to expensive repairs. All because an air filter didn’t get replaced quickly enough!
When airflow can’t travel as fast, humidity also builds up more quickly. This can be an issue in high-humidity climates, making the house significantly less comfortable during hotter months. It may also lead to issues related to humidity, like the presence of too much moisture, which may lead to mold or rot.
Clogged Filters Cost More
When a system has to work harder because of a clogged filter, it uses up a lot more energy. That’s right, a clogged filter has a direct impact on your monthly energy bills. Since disposable filters are very cheap, keeping a dirty filter in your system is wasting a lot more money than it would take to regularly replace your filters.
Poor Filters Can Create Health Problems
When your house is filled with dust, dust mites, and trapped pollen with no good way to remove any of it, it can start affecting the health of people living there. This is particularly true if anyone suffers from asthma or sensitivity to dust!
Has it been a while since you thought about replacing your HVAC filters? Are you not sure what kind of filters you have? Call us for an HVAC checkup! We’ll make sure that your filters are in working order, replace them if necessary, and give you advice on how often you should be replacing them.