Changing Air Filters and Efficient HVAC System Function Go Hand in Hand

Published on: March 26, 2015
Replacing air filter | AC Southeast®

The simple act of changing air filters for your heating and cooling system has far-reaching effects on its performance. Keeping the filter clean reduces the overall cost of keeping your home comfortable, as well as the likelihood of system failure.

Benefits of Changing Air Filters Regularly

A dirty air filter has a serious impact on your home and its HVAC system. A clean air filter:

  • Cuts energy consumption – The air filter prevents airborne particulates from entering the air handler, and as it does, the trapped particles restrict airflow into the air handler. When there’s less air blowing over the components that exchange the heat, it’ll take longer to heat and cool your home. The system will run longer to reach the thermostat’s settings, which drives up energy bills.
  • Prolongs system life – If you run your system with a dirty filter over a prolonged period, dust will collect on all the system components inside it. When dust collects on the heat exchanger used inside gas furnaces, it acts as insulation and the exchanger retains more heat. The excess heat can cause the metal from which it’s made to crack. Cracks in the heat exchanger can emit carbon monoxide into your home’s air and may prompt an expensive repair or a complete furnace replacement.

Changing air filters for heat pumps is just as important. A heat pump uses an evaporator coil inside the air handler to exchange heat with the refrigerant. A dirty coil loses efficiency year-round but in the summer, if the refrigerant can’t pick up enough heat from the air, it may freeze the coil over. If the heat pump continues to run, the cold refrigerant returning to the compressor could damage it to the point where it needs replacing.

Choosing New Filters

Check the owner’s manual or ask your trusted HVAC contractor about the best filter to use for your system, and verify that it’s the exact size specified for your system. Using a filter that’s too dense or the wrong size will also harm your system by reducing the volume of air flowing through it or pulling unfiltered air inside it.

Learn more about changing air filters from the pros at AirConditioningSouthEast.com, or contact us today to schedule an appointment with an HVAC contractor in your area!