Before we get started on the “why” of changing your HVAC air filter, we have a few questions for you…
Did you know that your central air conditioning and furnaces have air filters? Did you know that the purpose of this air filter is actually to protect the HVAC systems themselves, and has little to do with protecting your indoor air quality? Do you know what can happen if you don’t change out this air filter on a regular basis?
Don’t worry if any of these questions left you confused or worried–you’ve come to the right place. We have all the answers you need when it comes to caring for your air conditioner in a way that ensures it operates as efficiently and effectively as possible, for as long as possible.
The Role of the HVAC Air Filter
Let’s go ahead and talk about that air filter and what it’s actually there for. Then, let’s talk about the benefits of changing it out, what the filter is meant to protect, and why this is an AC component you don’t ever want to forget about. After reading this blog post, you’ll be a more informed HVAC owner, one step closer to reducing repair needs and saving money on the use of your HVAC systems!
As for the role the HVAC air filter plays–there is a fairly common misconception that this air filter is in place to protect the indoor air quality of the home. It certainly doesn’t hurt your indoor air quality, but this isn’t its intended purpose.
The HVAC air filter is designed to keep contaminants away from the sensitive internal components of your air conditioner (and heater, for that matter). In your cooling system, the air filter protects the compressor, the coils, and the refrigerant lines. As contaminants enter your system, they could make these components dirty and worn, drastically reducing their ability to cool your indoor air and keep your household comfortable.
Know All the Benefits of an HVAC Air Filter
While the air filter is designed to keep your HVAC systems clean, there are a number of additional benefits, too, when you swap it out on a regular (every 1-3 months depending on the type of filter and level of contaminants in your home) basis. Here are a few!
Better Energy Efficiency
So long as your cooling system can access clean, fresh air coming through the registers in your home, then it can achieve maximum efficiency. What happens is when the air filter gets too clogged up with dust, dirt, or other debris, airflow is restricted, and your air conditioner has to run longer to try to compensate. This is where the inefficiency comes in.
Better Air Quality
This almost goes without saying–even though the improved air quality isn’t this filter’s designated purpose, an air conditioner with routinely cleaned or changed air filters brings cleaner air into your home.
You know how we said that the HVAC air filter protects the sensitive components of your HVAC systems? Well, this also helps improve their longevity, basically increasing the lifespan of your air conditioner.