HVAC systems are an intensive combination of many parts that work together smoothly to provide you a comfortable indoor environment.
One of the most important of these components is the air filter. This is the part of the HVAC system that can get clogged easily due to dust, dirt, or pet fur. And clogged air filters are the common cause of HVAC systems malfunctioning.
So, here is everything you need to know about air filters, that keep your system running well.
1. What is the function of air filters?
Air filters basically do what the name suggests. They filter air. Generally made of spun fiberglass or pleated paper, air filters are placed inside the HVAC system to ensure that no dust particles, dirt, pet hair, pollen, lint, mold, or bacteria gets into the sensitive parts of the system. They create a barrier for these pollutants so that residents of the house receive clean, breathable air.
2. How often do air filters need to be changed?
Air filters have a certain capacity to block pollutants. All the dust and grime that gets accumulated on an air filter will cover the filter completely if not cleaned from time to time. Thus, air filters need to be replaced with clean filters often.
As a general rule, air filters in houses where there are no pets must be changed every 3 months. With pets in the house, air filters gather a lot of fur and hence must be changed every 2 months. If any family members suffer from respiratory problems or dust allergies; or if you have multiple pets at home, it would be wise to change the air filters once in 45 days.
But if you have a vacation home or you are just a family of one or two persons, the HVAC system will be used less frequently. In that case, you can change the air filters once in 6 months.
3. What if you do not change the air filters?
A. Bad air
Air filters are designed to catch all the harmful dirt and contaminants. Over time, all of these will accumulate on the thin filter and completely block it, not allowing any air to pass through it. Conditioned air that cannot get out will create pressure on the HVAC system. As the system is then unable to heat or cool your house as required, it will work harder to compensate for the loss, thus sending your energy bills soaring.
B. Hot and cold areas
Also, the conditioned air cannot reach the rooms where it is needed. This will create unequal temperature zones around the house.
C. Health risk
The most important concern is that a clogged air filter will not catch any contaminants and let them back into the air, posing a risk to the health of Bay Area residents or anyone for that matter.
D. System breakdown
A pressure on the system due to clogged filters could eventually result in a complete breakdown. You will then have to replace your AC or furnace which will be a huge expenditure.