As summer approaches, the one thing we all appreciate is the ability to turn on our air conditioners. This year before cranking the temperature down, consider this – when is the last time you changed your air filter for your home system?
The importance of the changing of the air filter is an easy task that is even easier to forget. There are several reasons why this should be on your monthly “to do” list:
- first is the importance of having clean air,
- second is the effects that a dirty filter can have on your monthly budget, and
- last is the long term damage on your heating and air conditioning system.
When you do not change your filter on a monthly basis, it can cause problems with the quality of your air. Filters are there to do just that – keep the air clean – but when a filter is not changed the quality of your air will began to drop. Though it may seem unlikely an unchanged filter can cause health problems such as creating allergy issues. According to the CPSC (Consumer Product Association) and the American Lung Association the biological pollutants in our home range from the simple dust mite to infectious agents such as bacteria or viruses. These pollutants can cause health issues with the most common being allergy problems, but they can also cause infectious and toxic problems.
Second reason you should change your air filter is because it can affect your monthly budget. With an unchanged air filter you will cause your system to run longer since the air flow is restricted by dirty filters. Slower air flow means your system will have to work harder to keep you both warm and cool. This will mean an increase in your electrical bill, which could increase by as much as 30%. This increase can easily be avoided just by scheduling it on your calendar like anything else you do.
The third reason is the long term affect that over-working your system will have – maintenance issues and early replacement of system. This can cause your system to break down due to a build up in the duct work, dirty coils, extra wear on all moving parts, and can also cause the whole system to break down. Replacing your entire system is not something you want to face, especially when proper care will allow your system to work properly for 20 year or more.
It is recommended that you change your filter every 30 days, but this is dependent on your system, your home habits, and your health. People with bad allergies may want to change their filter more often than someone without allergies. People who have pets in their home would also need to change the filter more often due to extra hair and particles in the air. Either way the importance of changing your filter is undeniable. If you have a problem remembering to change it, use a reoccurring calendar reminder in your phone or computer – this way you can receive the little reminder that you need to take care of this task. Filters do range in price and are rated on a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Rating Value) system with the higher the rating the better the filter. Normally, it is best to use the cheaper filters and change them often than to use the better filters which restrict air flow.
Put some money back in your pocket this summer. Set up a personal system so that you can remember to change your air filter as required. This one small change can save you a whole lot of money in the end.