You have no doubt been told that routine HVAC maintenance is an absolute necessity if you are serious about getting the best performance that your home heating and air conditioning systems have to offer. Routine maintenance is a job that only trained professionals can handle, and it is not one that you should ever attempt to handle on your own. That is not to say, however, that there is nothing that you can do for your HVAC systems in terms of maintenance.
In fact, one of the most important of maintenance tasks is one that you can and should be doing on your own. That is changing the air filter as needed. The air filter in most forced air HVAC systems is going to need to be changed every 1-3 months, so your annual maintenance visit just doesn’t come frequently enough to meet that need. Fortunately for you, changing the air filter is very simple, these filters are very cheap, and it can help you to avoid some very real problems.
Increased Airflow Resistance Causes Big Problems
Some people assume that, because their indoor air quality is not really suffering, they don’t have to change their air filter. That’s not true at all, though. The purpose of this air filter, which is actually of a fairly low efficiency, is not really to protect indoor air quality. No, it’s there in order to protect your HVAC system itself. And it is not going to be able to if you fail to keep a fresh filter in place.
When your system has a very dirty air filter to contend with, it is going to have to use more energy than it should in order to force conditioned air throughout your home. Just think of how difficult it would be to blow through a straw if the end was clogged up with the wrapper. Yes, you probably could do it, but it’s more work.
That added strain is going to manifest itself in a few different ways. One major drawback is the decrease in energy efficiency with which your system will operate. The harder that it has to work to do its job, the more energy that it will use in doing so. That will be reflected in increased heating and/or cooling costs for you.
Plus, that strain can actually start to damage your system if given the chance. Short cycling may occur, as the system overheats and shuts down again and again in order to protect itself. That not only wastes a lot of energy, but also causes the system to suffer an immense amount of wear and tear. Eventually, system damages are very likely to develop.
All of this can be avoided with just a few dollars and the smallest bit of elbow grease. When the time comes to change your air filter, be sure to let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Our Tucson, AZ HVAC pros are happy to help.
G-O-E-T-T-L it’ll keep you cool but it’s hard to spell.