Your HVAC air filter can be easily overlooked during seasonal heating or cooling activity, but you may not realize how serious this oversight can be. Many homeowners realize that a filter pulls material from the air, resulting in less contaminants affecting their breathing. However, a neglected filter can result in many negative issues that can be costly and inconvenient.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

The IAQ in your home is certainly affected by the materials in circulation. A dirty filter becomes inefficient, meaning that more particles remain in your air supply and have the potential to trigger allergies or other bronchial issues. Consider a MERV of eight or greater for better filtration results, but be sure to check your HVAC air filter at least once a month while your equipment is needed for seasonal comfort management. Always begin a new heating or cooling season with a clean air filter.

System Malfunctions

You may be surprised to discover than an air filter can result in unexpected problems with the operation of your heating and cooling equipment. As the filter becomes dirty, airflow can be restricted. This can lead to overheating of system components, resulting in a shutdown or other performance problems. If you face an unexpected failure of your heating or cooling equipment, check the filter before contacting our team at All Seasons Service Network. In some cases, a filter change may be all that is required to restore operations.

Excessive Energy Usage

A dirty filter can result in lower energy efficiency as your home comfort system operates. As the filter becomes dirty, the resulting reduction in airflow can represent an efficiency loss of between 5 and 15 percent, directly affecting your utility bill. A filter will become dirty from the moment it is first placed in your system. You will need to be the judge of your filter’s condition as you check it each month. If dirt is visibly covering much of the material, a change is warranted, especially if you can see dirt falling from the unit when you touch or tap it. However, you may want to implement a standard of monthly filter changes just to ensure that you don’t risk reduced efficiency levels.

Understanding the Limitations of Your HVAC Air Filter

The MERV of a filter indicates the efficiency with which it will capture small particulates, and a higher MERV will provide the best indoor air quality results. In spite of using a high-MERV filter, some particles will bypass the unit and settle on the interior components of your home comfort equipment. In the case of your cooling system, a layer of just one-tenth of an inch can result in a 5-percent decrease in energy efficiency. A filter change is important, but regular HVAC maintenance is also a high priority as you strive to keep your home comfortable and your energy bills in control.

All Seasons Service Network recommends pre-season system maintenance so that those interior components can be cleaned and inspected prior to heavy heating or cooling activity. This should be followed by regular filter checks and changes based on household usage patterns.  Be sure to call us to schedule your maintenance appointment soon.