As the seasons change, our thoughts are often focused out of doors. The beautiful colors of fall or the icy cold winds of winter catch our attention every time we walk outside. What we may not be thinking of as we flip our HVAC switch from A/C to heat is the air filter in the HVAC system. These filters protect the system from damage and keep air circulating freely throughout our home.
What Does the Furnace Filter Do?
We often refer the filters in our HVAC systems as furnace filters, but in reality, these removable, disposable air filters work hard year round. Located between the air intake and the motor, fan, and heating coil, these filters are designed to protect the system’s motor from dust and other particle matter that could cause damage. Without this protection, the system would become clogged with dust and the motor would have to work harder. Eventually, the motor would overheat and your system would fail. The earliest filters, which were usually just a few layers of fiberglass material in a cardboard casing, allowed air to circulate but trapped the dust before it could reach and damage the motor.
While protection of the motor was the filter system’s primary purpose, today’s filters also work to improve indoor air quality. Constructed of more complex materials and made to trap mold spores, pollen, and other damaging inhalants before they can circulate through your home, these filters can provide relief for those who suffer from allergies or asthma. Allergen filters are usually more expensive than a standard filter, but if you suffer from extreme allergies or asthma you might find they are worth the increased cost.
How Often Should You Change Your Filter?
Check the manufacturer’s recommendations, but in general, your filter should be changed every three months at a minimum. Homeowners who have HVAC systems that use a standard one-inch filter might find that the filter appears clogged before the seasons change, and in that case, should change the filter more frequently. Homeowners who have pets or those with compromised respiratory systems should also change their filter more frequently to maintain an optimum level of indoor air quality.
With frequent filter changes, your HVAC system will run better and require fewer visits from your HVAC contractor for heating repair and ac repair throughout the year. A more efficient system also uses less energy and you should see a difference in your energy costs during the peak heating and cooling seasons.
If you find yourself in need of an HVAC contractor, contact Classic Air at 614-476-1732. We offer free in-home estimates that will quickly diagnose any problems with your HVAC system and accurately estimate repair costs and timelines.