Dust, yes dust, is able to hinder the efficiency of your entire HVAC unit. How? That answer is simple: because your air filters have been neglected. Because filters are widely misunderstood, they tend to be put on the back burner when it comes to HVAC maintenance. In this blog we’ll find out why air filters are important, and what can happen to your system if they remain untouched.
The Misconception of Air Filters
Before we talk about the effect of not changing your filter, we first need to understand their purpose. The common misconception of air filters is that they are used to filter the air outside and make it cleaner for your home. In reality, they are working for your HVAC unit, taking the air from inside your house and making it cleaner for your unit. Most filters are also not made for filtering out pollen, allergens, mold spores, and dander. They are usually disposable paper filters, sometimes metal, capable of catching dirt and dust.
However, there are filters capable of filtering out more harmful substances, but you need to look for them directly. These types of filters are called high energy particulate air filters, or HEPA filters for short. They are made of a much finer mesh than your standard air filter and are able to catch allergens, pollen, mold spores, and dander.
Wear and Tear on Your Unit
The most common result of neglected air filters is possible damage to your HVAC unit. When your filter is clogged, the air becomes unable to move through it, making your system work harder to condition your home. When your system is forced to work harder, it can cause unnecessary strain on your unit and warrant premature repairs. If too much dirt is allowed to build up in your unit, it can cause your system to fail, leading to even higher maintenance costs.
Forgetting to change your filter for long periods of time can also cause your unit’s coils to freeze. The cold coils in your unit need the warm air from your house to keep them from freezing. Though there are several causes for frozen coils, forgetting to change your filter can be one of them. If the warm air from your house is unable to circulate to your unit, the coils will not have the heat they need to keep from freezing over.
Increased Pollen and Dust
Even though the primary job of your filter is not to clean the air, allowing it to become clogged can have an effect on the air quality in your home. The more dirt and pollen are allowed to clog your unit, the more likely it is that some of those particles will end up circulating throughout the house. The lack of upkeep with regard to your filter can also cause a build-up of moisture within the structure of your home that could even lead to mold.
Loss of Temperature Control
When your filter is clogged, your unit has to work twice as hard to reach your desired temperature. For business owners, this means that the office will be in a perpetual cycle of uncomfortable temperatures. For homeowners, this could even lead to difficulty sleeping.
Changing Your Filter
The frequency of which you change your filter may vary depending on the type of HVAC system you have, but the general rule is to make the change about every 1 to 3 months. If you own a business, professional assistance is recommended to properly maintain your filters, while as a homeowner you are able to change your filter with relative ease.
At ServiceOne AC and Plumbing, we understand the HVAC maintenance needs of homes and business. If you have any questions about your air filter, or if you would like to schedule a service for your business, feel free to fill out a contact form or give us a call at (407) 499-8333.