If you’ve checked out our site or read our blog posts before, then you are familiar with our advice regarding air conditioning maintenance. Scheduling AC maintenance each and every year is, without exception, the absolute best thing that you can do for your air filter and home cooling system. Air conditioning maintenance is also something that you really need to leave to the professionals — mostly. There is one simple maintenance task that you can actually handle on your own.
This is changing your air filter, and it is as beneficial as it is easy. If you use a forced air cooling — or, for that matter, heating — system, then you need to keep a fresh air filter in place. Failing to change your HVAC system’s air filter can have a number of negative consequences for your equipment, not to mention your budget and your overall comfort. Keep the following information in mind, and for goodness sake, keep a fresh filter in your AC in Denver, CO!
Efficiency, Air Quality, and Overall Performance
Okay, so what is the big deal about changing the air filter? Doesn’t the air conditioning maintenance technician take care of that during routine maintenance? Well, sure, but once a year is not nearly enough when it comes to changing your air filter. While a number of different factors will influence how frequently your air filter needs changing, generally it will need to be done every 1-3 months.
The first matter to consider when it comes to a dirty air filter is energy efficiency. Imagine that you are blowing through a straw. Pretty easy, right? Now imagine that you are blowing through that same straw, but you’ve crammed the wrapper into the tube. Not quite as easy now, is it? The concept is the same as a dirty air filter. The more clogged up it is, the more difficult it is for your air conditioner to force air through it. That means that your system is going to wind up working harder than it should have to in order to distribute air throughout the house, using more energy in the process.
There is also the air quality to consider. Now, this filter is not really there to improve indoor air quality — though you can certainly use designated, more efficient filters to do so. This filter is there to protect the HVAC equipment itself. However, a dirty filter can contribute to a decline in overall indoor air quality. If your filter is very dirty, air may actually be forced around, rather than through it, and the pollutants in that air will not be filtered out.
Finally, consider the overall performance of your AC. A dirty filter can result in decreased cooling output. Increased airflow resistance may cause the system to overheat, resulting in short cycling. It may even lead to the icing of the evaporator coil. Long story short, you have a lot to gain by keeping fresh air in your system.