Checking the Air Filter: Your Heating and Cooling Equipment Depends on You
The air filter in your home’s HVAC system has a major affect on the system’s performance. Checking the air filter regularly is a simple job that’s crucial for keeping your equipment running efficiently and for a number of other reasons.
- Optimal energy efficiency – A dirty air filter interferes with airflow, which forces the fan motor in your air handler to work harder to draw air through the system. The harder the fan works, the more energy it consumes. Replacing your air filter as needed ensures sufficient airflow, improving your system’s energy efficiency and lowering your energy bills.
- Reduced environmental impact – The less energy your fan motor uses, the less you contribute to the carbon pollution caused by electric power plants.
- Better air quality – Filters clogged with debris may allow dust, pollen and other respiratory irritants into your home’s air. These irritants can worsen allergy and asthma symptoms. By checking the air filter regularly, you’ll be able to replace your filter before it becomes clogged. Keep in mind that standard fiberglass filters do little to clean your home’s air. For better air quality, consider a pleated paper or cloth filter, or an electrostatic filter.
- Longer system life – When restricted airflow forces your fan motor to work harder than it’s designed to, your whole system is placed under strain. Your motor may burn out early, or worse, your heat exchanger may overheat. In fact, dirty air filters are the most common cause of HVAC system failure. It’s also one of the easiest to prevent. Keeping your filters clean lets you get as many years out of your system as possible.
Checking the air filter should be on your monthly to-do list. Every month, take out the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light through the filter, replace it.
If you’ve got questions about choosing and using air filters or other indoor air quality equipment, contact us at Sobieski Services. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: rolleh