Few people think about their HVAC system unless something goes wrong. They simply expect it to function in the way it should. However, if you’re getting hot air in summer or you can’t get warm during winter, you’ll immediately become concerned. If your home also feels stuffy or you’re experiencing respiratory problems, the issue could be your air filters. In fact, as experienced HVAC experts will tell you, many complications or failures in HVAC systems are due to clogged air filters. Just like you need to change the air filter in your car’s engine, you need to replace those in your HVAC system. Read on to learn more about the role of air filters and why you need to ensure they’re changed regularly.
Air filters are devices made from pleated paper or fiberglass surrounded by a cardboard frame. They prevent contaminants and particles circulating in the air from reaching key parts of the HVAC system. Some of the particles which often clog filters include dust, hair, animal fur, bacteria, pollen, and mold. Most manufacturers recommend that homeowners change basic filters every 30 to 60 days. However, some types of filters may work best with a different schedule.
In addition, the number of people in the home and whether there are pets present can also play a role. If you have housemates, you’ll need to replace your filters every three months. If there’s one pet living in the home, a sixty-day schedule would be more appropriate. If you have several pets or someone in your household has allergies, you should change the filter every 20 to 45 days. If you’re not sure what’s best for your building, you need to contact a South Carolina HVAC company for advice.
What Happens When Filters Aren’t Changed Regularly
Air filters are designed to capture contaminants and harmful particles. However, when these build up in excess, they prevent air from flowing through your HVAC system. This can cause several problems, including some which affect your health and others which are costly to fix. We’ll discuss the most common problems below. If you suspect you may have a issue, it’s best to call in the experts.
Inadequate Temperature Regulation
Since clogged air filters make airflow difficult, your rooms won’t get the amount of air they need. Neither cool nor warm air will be able to get where it needs to go. This means some rooms may be warmer than you want during the summer or too cold during the winter.
Higher Energy Bills
Excessively dirty filters make your HVAC system work harder to distribute sufficient air. Since the unit has to work harder and longer, it uses more electricity. Over time, it can increase your utility bills significantly. Dirt also acts as an insulator, so it disrupts the transfer of air. This also makes the unit work under more stress.
There may come a time when your furnace stops working completely. If you keep using the old clogged filters, the overwork can cause the system to break down. The only option you’ll have is to replace the entire system and this will cost thousands of dollars. Filters usually cost less than $40 so routine replacement is clearly the best choice.
Poor Air Quality and Health Problems
Another consequence of clogged filters is that the filters won’t be able to trap new contaminants. This means dust, hair, fur, and other particles can go back into the air you have to breathe. In the short term, this can lead to itchy eyes and throat and headaches. If the filters don’t get replaced, respiratory illnesses and other debilitating diseases can develop. People with asthma and other chronic respiratory conditions may notice worsening symptoms.
Frozen Evaporator Coils
Dirty air filters can cause your evaporator coils to freeze during the summer. Condensation usually goes into the drain pan as your system cools your home. However, when the air can’t pass through the filter, the water freezes instead of draining. When evaporator coils freeze, the unit can break down when you need it most.
Our HVAC Experts Are Here to Help
If you can’t remember the last time you changed your air filters, it’s time to take a look at them. If they’re clogged, call the HVAC experts at C&L Services. We will inspect your system and diagnose any problems that the clogged filters caused. We’ll also advise you on how you can prevent issues in the future. All you need to do is contact us today to schedule an inspection. We serve Anderson, Lake Keowee and Oconee County, SC.
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