Have you changed the filter for your home’s heater so far this summer? Have you even thought about the filter?
Don’t worry if you answer “no” to either question—plenty of people forget about this routine task. Everyone gets busy, and some basic maintenance jobs can slip through the cracks. We wrote this post specifically to help you remember to change the filter and to keep up with regular changes in the future. It’s a basic part of heating maintenance and can spare you many troubles with your heater later on.
The Job of the Filter
First, we want to clarify what the filter on your HVAC system does, because people often make the mistake of thinking it’s to improve indoor air quality. It has some small effect on air quality, but its true job is to protect the interior of the HVAC system from the dust and debris that come through the return air vents. The filter doesn’t self-clean, so it will eventually become clogged up with the lint, dust, and fibers it’s picked up. This is why it’s necessary to put in a clean filter regularly.
The Frequency of Filter Changes
How often do you need to change the filter in your HVAC system? It depends on the strength of the filter and how often you run either the heater or the AC (if you have a standard HVAC system where these systems both use the same filter). Simple screen filters should be changed monthly, while stronger pleated filters may need to be changed only every three months. You may be able to extend the time if you aren’t often using the HVAC system during fall and spring.
Why Filter Changes Are Important
A simple way to think about a clogged filter is to imagine that it’s nasal congestion in your body. You have to work harder to draw air through a stuffy nose, and the same principle applies to the HVAC system—a clogged filter places more strain on the blower motor to pull air into the system. This can lead to several problems:
- A drop in energy efficiency as the heater uses more power to circulate air.
- A danger that the furnace will overheat and shut down.
- A decline in airflow around the house, leading to reduced comfort.
- The blower motor overheating and causing its circuit breaker to trip.
- An increase in general wear and tear that will result in a shorter heater system life.
- Dirt and debris will begin to get past the filter around its edges.
That’s a whole slew of problems that can mean extra money spent and less comfort to enjoy—and all you have to do to avoid this is put in a new filter on a regular schedule. Our technicians handle changing the filter during regular heater maintenance in Bossier City, LA, but for the rest of the season, you’ll have to do the job yourself. You can ask us for help if you don’t know how to change the filter.
Moon’s Air has provided whole-home comfort since 1971. Call us for service today—it’s good to be Mooned!