Consequences of Not Changing Your Air Filter

Consequences of Not Changing Your Air Filter

“Out of sight, out of mind” is often a true condition – but if that means you go too long before changing your air filter, it can lead to some serious problems for your heating and cooling system.

How often should you have “change the air filter” on your mind? Well, that depends on a few factors such as:

  • Type of air filter you’re using
  • Manufacturer recommendations
  • Whether the filter is on ground level or in the ceiling
  • Number of people and pets living in your home
  • Whether you live near a highway or manufacturing facility
  • Whether you live in a high allergen area

Some recommendations for changing air filters are as often as once per month, or once every other month. Rarely should you go longer than once every three months (or, before each new season).

Dirty air filters are a menace – to you and your equipment

Bad for you

Your air filters perform an important service, keeping particulates out of your indoor air as well as the equipment. When your air filters are dirty, they can’t filter out the dust, pet dander, and other allergens from your indoor air. You’ll begin to notice more dust in the house, and the sad fact is that dirty air is re-circulating through dirty filters.

Bad for your equipment

Over time, your air filter captures a lot of dirt and debris, filling up the fibers and making it difficult for air to flow through. When airflow is obstructed, it requires your system to work much harder to produce the same (and often, uneven) results. You end up using more energy but get less cooled (or heated) air. Old and new HVAC air filter comparison

Really bad for your equipment

Blocked airflow can also lead to frozen condenser coils, causing your AC unit to freeze up and break down, ruining your compressor. Signs that this is a problem include:

  • A sudden unexplained increase in utility bills despite poor performance
  • Short on/off cycles, or a system that runs continuously
  • Excess condensation and drainage

If you notice any of these things and you’re in the Phoenix, Arizona area, it’s best to call a trusted HVAC company right away and have them make a professional inspection.

Clean air filters are as crucial to the maintenance of your HVAC equipment as clean oil is for your car’s engine. Protect your investment by keeping your air filters changed regularly.