It can be hard to come to terms with the fact that you need to clean your cleaning systems. Whether it be your dishwasher, washing machine, or air filters, not cleaning those can lead to system complications or total failure. To learn more about how to clean the air filters in your home while also learning about the implications of not changing them regularly, read more!
How Do Air Filters Work?
Good question! They are installed in all of our homes, but we don’t always understand how they work. So, let’s break it down together!
Air filters are typically made from spun fiberglass or pleated paper which surrounds a cardboard frame. Once inserted into the HVAC system, they will act as a barrier to prevent contaminants such as dust, skin particles, bugs, pollen, mold, and more from circulating the air. Additionally, it blocks those same contaminants from entering sensitive areas of the system.
How Often Should Filters Be Changed?
Different schedules are needed depending on the air filter you are using to ensure maximum and optimal functional performance. While most manufacturers recommend filters be changed every 30 to 60 days, some factors can make that number vary. Here are a few:
- A filter in a home with no pets can be changed up to every 90 days. Why? Less hair!
- A home with 1 pet should change its filters every 6 weeks.
- For a home with multiple pets or someone with severe allergies, you should change the filters anywhere between 20 to 45 days. The homeowner should use their best judgment on which day they should change their filters.
- For a home with a single-occupant, no pets, or if it’s strictly a vacation home, the owners can usually wait for 6 to 12 months before needing to change the filter.
What Happens When You Don’t Change Your Filter?
While many things can happen if you don’t change your air filters on time, there are 5 in particular to highlight. When your home filter is designed to accommodate the cleaning of your home but isn’t cleaned, it can’t function properly.
#1: High Energy Bills
If the air filter is clogged, the air cannot easily flow through your system. This causes your whole system to work harder. With that, the price of your utility bills will skyrocket.
#2: Poor Temperature Regulation
Clogged air filters make the overall systems strained. Warm or cool air cannot adequately go where it's needed, meaning air can be too cold in the winter and adversely too hot in the summer.
#3: Health Concerns
When the air filters are already full, less space is provided for the new contaminants as they flow through them. Everything gross can end up back in the air that everyone is breathing. There are immediate issues that could affect those in your home, such as headaches, itchy eyes, and more. But the long-term effects are most important to note. Those include, but are not limited to, respiratory diseases, heart diseases, or cancer.
#4: Furnace Failure
Air filters cost less than $40 and are easily replaceable. But if the system is clogged, it can cause the entire unit to be overworked, leading to system failure. If this were to happen, fixing all of this can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $12,000. Don’t pay that. Get ahead of the issue!
#5: Clamped-Up Coils
Evaporative coils, which help with the cooling of your home, can freeze up if they are overworked. This leads to the coils not working properly making them stop. Again, the price to fix this specific issue is significantly cheaper than replacing the unit entirely. Protect your wallet by replacing the coils on your air filter regularly.
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