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The Importance of Changing Your Home’s HVAC Filter

The Importance of Changing Your Home’s HVAC Filter

It’s the middle of July and over 100 degrees outside, the heat is miserable and all you can find yourself doing is looking forward to getting home and relaxing in the cool AC, except when you arrive home you find out that the HVAC system has failed due to the lack of maintaining and replacing the HVAC air filters. All the dirt clogged the system and overheated the motor. The national average price to replace an HVAC system is $4,820 to $9,350. Installation of a new HVAC system with ductwork costs between $6,820 to $12,350 as stated on homeguide.com, but the price can range from $4,820 – $17,000 depending on model, permits, etc. That’s a pretty costly repair that could have easily and inexpensively been avoided by regularly replacing the HVAC air filter. 

I have found, in my experience, that tenants generally overlook or are unaware of HVAC upkeep. I have put together a list of a few reasons replacing your furnace filter is important for the system and yourself.

First, replacing HVAC filters could extend the life of your HVAC system. The most common reason HVAC systems break down is due to dirty air filters. Dirt starts to build up on the filter and air cannot pass through, which could overheat the system. Second, replacing filters can keep your energy cost down. The Department of Energy widely estimates people who regularly replace their filters save on average roughly 5% – 15% on utility costs each month (found on www.secondnature.com). Dirty filters put an added strain on HVAC motors making them work harder, and in turn, use more energy. Third, those people who suffer from allergies or asthma would benefit from replacing the air filter on a more regular basis to promote and maintain a healthier air quality within the home. Dirty air filters worsen the air quality and could exacerbate symptoms. This is even more important for people with pets, being that pet dander can accumulate and then spread allergens throughout the household. Fourth, dirt clogged up on the filter can lead to polluting the entire HVAC system, so replacing the filter regularly keeps a clean and healthy HVAC system.

Replacing your filter is an easy, inexpensive step to save money, extend the life of your HVAC system and improve your indoor air quality. It is a general recommendation that you should change your air filter about every 30 days when using the less expensive, fiberglass-type filters. High-end pleated filters could last up to 6 months. These guidelines, however, are based on usage of the HVAC system and the amount of dirt, dust or debris circulating in the home. Energy Star guidelines suggest changing your air filter every month, especially during the winter and summer months, when your heating and cooling units gets the most use. At a bare minimum, you should not let more than three months go by without swapping your dirty one out for a new one. 

There are a number of different filters available on the market, each offering different benefits, but the fact remains that all types of filters need to be checked, maintained and changed in order for the HVAC system to function properly and safely. Hopefully this information gives a little insight regarding HVAC air filter replacement and is found to be helpful for all the owners and tenants out there.

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