Reasons to Change Your Furnace Filters Frequently
Your furnace’s air filters are vital to your Los Molinos home’s health, safety, and wellness, especially during the winter. They capture airborne pollutants that circulate in your home, improving the air quality in your home. Most HVAC experts agree that you should change your furnace filter every one to three months based on the season, the air quality where you live, and the health of the people in your home.
Replacing a furnace filter is a relatively straightforward process. The following are reasons why you should be diligent when it comes to changing out furnace filters.
Clean Furnace Filters Maintain Healthy Air Quality
Good air filters improve indoor air quality by removing allergens and pollutants and minimizing dust buildup. There are as many potentially dangerous pollutants inside your home as there are outside. The contaminants in your home fall under gaseous pollutants or particulate matter.
Particulate matter includes the byproducts of combustion as well as tiny organisms, like dust mites, pollen, pet dander, viruses, and bacteria. The combustion from tobacco smoke, gas stoves, and vehicle exhaust also creates gaseous pollutants. However, they also include byproducts from building materials, pesticides, paints, furnishes, and adhesives.
Frequently replacing a quality air filter in your furnace increases indoor air quality and prevents particulates from damaging your home’s furnishings, electronics, and structure.
Changing your air filter regularly is essential because it has a set capacity for trapping particles. Once that capacity is reached, dangerous particles will find their way into your home.
Clogged air filters create excessive air resistance. This means that your furnace needs to work harder. Increased operating pressure allows a more significant amount of contaminants to be pulled in from the return side of your house’s ductwork through cracks. When this happens, foreign particles from your crawlspace or attic find their way into your home’s air.
With time, dirty filters become a source of indoor pollution. The dust that accumulates in the filters is the perfect breeding ground for microbial colonies, especially in warmer climates like Los Molinos. Dust mites, bacteria, and mold that call your dirty filter home can trigger asthma and allergies. Because of contaminated air, you or your family might develop dizziness, eye irritation, fatigue, congestion, or shortness of breath.
Once your filter reaches its particulate capacity, air will find a different path to flow into your return ducts. It will search for the path of least resistance, sneaking in through any gaps around the filter frame. The particulates that get around the filter will contaminate the burner and other components, impacting indoor air quality.
Dirty air filters can implode. The increased operating pressure can warp the filter’s frame. With time, the filtration media will get ripped from the frame and let large amounts of dust into the ductwork. In addition to negatively affecting your air quality, an air filter blowout can cause serious furnace maintenance issues.
Clean Furnace Filters Extend the Life of the HVAC Unit
A new HVAC system can cost you thousands of dollars. You want to get the most out of your system by having professional maintenance performed by Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, which includes replacing your air filter.
Not changing a dirty air filter could damage your heat exchanger. A clogged air filter negatively impacts your house’s airflow and your HVAC system. Without sufficient fresh air, your heat exchanger will overheat and deactivate. This leads to short cycling issues, making it harder to keep your home warm.
Dirty furnace filters force your furnace to work harder than usual because of decreased airflow. The harder your furnace works, the quicker parts break down and the more maintenance and repairs you need. In the long run, this will drastically shorten your HVAC unit’s life.
Regularly Replacing Filters Can Decrease Your Energy Bill
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), frequently replacing dirty filters can reduce your HVAC energy consumption by up to 15%. This is considerable considering that for most homes, HVAC expenses are responsible for up to 50% of their home’s energy use. This means that you can save up to 7.5% on your energy bill each month just by keeping your furnace filters clean.
If your monthly bill is $100, you could save up to $7.5 each month. If your energy bill is $300 or $400, you could be looking at savings of up to $30 each month. It is a worthwhile investment to replace your furnace filters frequently.
When Should Your Furnace Filter Be Replaced?
In most cases, your furnace filter should be replaced every three months, even during summer. However, certain factors impact how frequently you have your furnace filters changed.
The thicker the filter, the more debris it can hold and the longer you can go without changing it. If you have a filter that is two inches thick or more, you should be able to wait a few more months before changing it.
The location of your home is another critical factor. A furnace in a house situated in the city will collect debris faster than those in rural areas. This is because city life, including heavy traffic, creates more air particles for your filter to clean.
Your furnace is not working hard during the summer season, if at all. However, during the winter, your furnace is working hard to keep your home warm, which causes the filter to get dirtier faster. You may need to change the filter more frequently during winter.
Pet hair and dander can collect in your furnace filter. The more pets you have and the more they shed, the more frequently you need to replace your furnace filters.
Your health condition and the health conditions of your family members will also impact how frequently your filter should be changed. If you or someone in your home has allergies or struggles with asthma, changing the filter every month or two could help minimize symptoms.
No two homes have the same circumstance. You might need to change your furnace filter more often than your neighbor does, even though the two of you have the same furnace and use the same filters. Look for signs that your furnace is dirty. For example, if your furniture gets dusty very soon after you clean the house, this could indicate that the furnace filter is clogged and not effectively removing particulates from the air.
You may notice that your furnace runs more frequently than it did in previous months. If so, look at the filter. It is time to replace the filter if it is covered in dust and lint.
HVAC and Plumbing Professionals with Stellar Reputations
Since the late 1980s, the HVAC and plumbing professionals at Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning have dedicated themselves to providing exceptional plumbing and HVAC service throughout the greater Sacramento area. We are licensed and bonded, have an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, are EPA certified, and are home to NATE-certified technicians.
Our services include HVAC installation, maintenance, repair, and tune-ups. We offer clogged drain repairs, garbage disposal installation, pipe repairs, and general plumbing. Contact Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning today to learn more about how we can serve your HVAC and plumbing needs.