When was the last time you changed your furnace filter?
If the answer is “I don’t know” you may want to go take a peek at it. It’s important that you change your furnace filter often – AT LEAST once before the heating season and again during the cooling season. But, you may want to consider changing it at least once a season or even once a month – particularly if you live with an allergy sufferer or have pets. A dirty air filter can cause a whole hose of problems.
Here are just a few consequences of letting your furnace filter get too grimy.
Reduced indoor air quality. This hardly needs an explanation. Your filter traps all of the unwanted particles you don’t want in your air. If your filter is clogged, the dust and dirt that was previously trapped by the filter may be recirculated through your home!
Inadequate heating and cooling. Reduced airflow can result in uneven temperatures throughout your home because it is harder for the system to move the air. This will negatively impact your home comfort.
Increased utility bills due to reduced energy efficiency. Parts of your HVAC system have to work harder to move air through your heating and cooling system. This means your equipment is going to consume more energy. This leads to increased utility bills – your electricity bill in particular!
Frozen evaporator coils. One effect of reduced airflow due to a dirty filter is a frozen evaporator coil (a part of your heating and air conditioning system that is located inside your home). Condensation that is formed during the cooling process can freeze on the outside of the coil and reduce your unit’s ability to cool your home. This may eventually lead to a complete system breakdown!
In extreme cases, furnace failure. All of the above-mentioned problems put additional strain on your air distribution equipment (your blower in particular). If this component gives out, not only are you going to be without your heating and air conditioning system, but you could be looking at a costly repair.
These are different procedures for permanent and temporary filters. Make sure you ask your contractor about proper air filter changing practices. If you can’t find your filter, make sure you contact your local HVAC professional.
How often do you change your furnace filter? How do you remind yourself?