By the time you’re reading this, it might be time to change your air filter. Under the most average circumstances–an average family without any allergies or asthma issues–you should be changing your HVAC system’s air filter about every 6 months. That time may increase or decrease depending on other factors, but it’s never a bad time to ask yourself every once in a while, “Is it time to change the air filter?” Below are a few reasons why you should change an air filter now instead of later.
Prevent Unnecessary Repair Calls
When it comes to HVAC issues, there are very few times where a repair call isn’t warranted. Even the smallest refrigerant leak will become a huge issue if left ignored. However, calling in for repairs on what turns out to be a clogged air filter is the pinnacle of frustration. You will most likely still have to pay a service fee for what could have been done by yourself.
The reason this happens is that a clogged air filter can mimic many other HVAC system problems. Frozen evaporator coils are often caused by refrigerant leaks—a true HVAC emergency—but can also easily occur due to a dirty air filter. Skip that mess entirely by having your air filter changed regularly.
Lower Monthly Energy Bill Costs
Your air conditioner won’t care that the filter is clogged. It will keep bringing in more air to reach the temperature on your thermostat, even if it takes longer. The increased running-time of your system will contribute to larger energy bills every month. Clogged air filters don’t always create symptoms, so it’s often at the energy bill where homeowners realize they’re having any kind of problem at all.
Improve the Lifespan of Your System
On that note, anything that causes your HVAC system to work longer and harder than usual is often going to take a toll on the lifespan of your system. It will do this by creating more wear-and-tear on the system, which will gradually degrade crucial components or parts of the system.
For example, let’s say that a clogged air filter is forcing your system to go through short-cycling symptoms. That would mean that your system is turning on and off at a rapid rate. There are several problems here that will contribute to a lower quality of life for your system:
- Startup cycles require much more power than if the system were to run continuously. Too many startup cycles can burn out capacitors or fan motors.
- Short-cycling will prevent the home from ever reaching the temperature on the thermostat. This means it will be running constantly and indefinitely, leading not just to wear-and-tear, but a heavier energy bill cost.
To truly know how often you should change your air filter, it’s best to consult with an HVAC contractor in Whittier, CA. There are many factors like the air quality around your home, the number of inhabitants and their immune systems, and the number of pets in the household.