Homeowners often ask the questions such as whether dirty air filters in their HVAC system notch up their utility costs and how often the filters need to get changed. Read on for this article is meant as a short guide on these issues.
First of all, yes, dirty filters do increase your utility costs. When your filters get dirty, the air flow into the system is restricted. This means that your heating or cooling machine will need to work harder to maintain sufficient air flow and keep the indoors warm or cold, according to the season. Now, since your unit is working harder, it is also consuming more energy and this directly translates into higher utility costs.
However, dirty filters can do more harm than this. With dirty filters, the quality of the air inside will fall and this can create health hazards for the family members. Unclean or clogged filters may also cause your unit to break down—which will mean costly repairs. Finally, not changing your filters regularly will also bring down the lifespan of your unit.
You must also keep it in mind that changing air filters are not part of your annual HVAC maintenance. In fact, most standard filters used for home units will need to be replaced every three months. Some may even require replacement once every month.
There are also other circumstantial factors which will determine the change-out frequency rate of your air filter. Understandably, if you live in a place which enjoys pleasant weather across majority of the seasons, your HVAC units will require much less operation. In such cases, the filters will enjoy a longer life span. Similarly, if the unit is made to run more regularly, the lifespan of the filters will come down.
Other factors involve average traffic at your home, tobacco smoke, pet hair, etc. All of these will serve to wear out the filters sooner than is standard. In case you are not sure if your filters need a replacement, you can contact a HVAC professional and let him inspect your system. After the inspection of your unit and your home environment, he will be able to tell you how frequently you need to change your HVAC air filters.
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