Changing HVAC Filters Will Help Save Your Money and Your Health

Changing HVAC Filters Will Help Save Your Money and Your Health

There is a list of items in your Colorado home that need regular maintenance, such as cleaning out your gutters, replacing the battery in your smoke alarm, cutting the grass, etc. But there’s one item on that list that’s often ignored for too long. That’s replacing the filter in your HVAC system.

Is it really such a big deal if it’s not done on a regular basis? Many homeowners are uninformed of the adverse effects of a dirty HVAC air filter on the system and the possible consequences regarding home safety. Your HVAC’s air filter performs a vital dual role; it keeps your home comfortable and healthy while also boosting your system’s efficiency. Let’s examine why homeowners should make replacing their HVAC filter a top priority.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that most of us spend about 90 percent of our time indoors. That means that most of our life is spent breathing air that’s been circulated through an air filter in a cooling or heating system. So changing out the system’s filter will allow your family, pets, and children to breathe healthier air. The EPA also estimates that indoor air is up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. So taking the simple step of changing out air filters should be on everyone’s must-do list.

What are the Negative Effects of a Dirty Air Filter?

  • A dirty air filter can cause air ducts to become home to dust, allergens, mold that can invade your breathing space.
  • Air filters in homes with pets or smokers can become blocked with fur, dander, smoke particulate matter and secondhand smoke.
  • A clogged air filter can diminish a humidifier’s effectiveness.
  • Dirty air filters make your system work harder by reducing the airflow within the system. The harder it has to work, the less energy efficient it is, shortening its life span and causing higher utility bills.
  • During the summer, a clogged air filter can cause the evaporator or cooling coil to freeze up.
  • Clogs during cold weather can lead to ineffective operation of the entire system, meaning you may experience hot and cold spots in your home, making it difficult to reach your chosen indoor temperature levels.

Can you remember the last time you changed your air filter?

How Do I Change My Filters?

First of all, set a reminder in your phone or a notation on a calendar for the first day of every third month to remind you to change it out. The actual process is very simple. If you don’t know how, have a friend or family member show you.

Be aware that it’s possible to install them backwards. But each filter will have an arrow somewhere on its side indicating the direction of airflow. Be sure that arrow is pointing into your system, not out.

Can I Clean Dirty Air Filters?

Some air filters — permanent and semipermanent models — can be cleaned as part of regular HVAC system maintenance. But even washable filters have a life span — usually just a few years. But most Colorado HVAC systems use disposable filters. You might be tempted to try and clean yours instead of swapping it out with a new one. However, this simply won’t work for these reasons:

  • Disposable air filters are manufactured from soft mesh and other flexible materials that can't survive the wear and tear of washing. It won't completely dry after washing either, creating a moist breeding ground for mold and mildew.
  • Vacuuming an air filter does remove some of the buildups on the outside, but it can’t get to all the dust, pollen, and dirt that collects on the inside of the filter which blocks it from doing its job and causes wear and tear on your HVAC system.

Do My HVAC Filters Remove Odors?

HVAC air filters are designed to improve your home air quality and protect your unit. But if you have a serious odor problem caused by smoke from a fire or another pungent source, they are not designed for that. For those type of issues, you’ll need professional help to remove the source of the odor, along with high tech equipment to permanently remove those smells. Be sure to contact Cyclone Kleen Up for any odor problems you may be experiencing.