We are huge proponents of HVAC maintenance around here, which you’re definitely aware of if you have read anything posted to this blog before. You also know that we always remind our readers of the fact that heating maintenance is something that only trained, experienced professionals can handle. That being said, there are still some ways in which you can help to keep your heater functioning at peak performance and efficiency levels on your own. Changing your air filter is chief among them.
If it sounds simple, that’s because it is. If it sounds too simple to really be that important, then think again. There is nothing better that you yourself can do to benefit your own heating system than simply changing out the air filter as needed. You don’t need to just take our word for it, though. We’ve got some great information to share with you about how changing your air filter, along with routine heating maintenance in Fairfield, CT, can keep your system working properly.
Too Much Airflow Resistance Causes Big Problems
How is it that a dirty air filter can lead to so many issues, you may be wondering? Well, at the heart of it all, there is the matter of airflow resistance. Specifically, there is the matter of excessive airflow resistance. When your air filter is all clogged up due to infrequent changing, it is simply going to make it too hard for your heater to force heated air throughout your home.
That will cause energy bills to rise, which is enough of a reason for spending the few dollars on a fresh air filter as required. The harder that your system has to work in order to force heated air throughout your home, the more energy that it is going to consume in the process. And, the more energy your system consumes, the more it is going to cost to run your heater.
However, increased airflow resistance leads to much more serious problems than increased heating costs, too. When your heat pump’s filter is too dirty, your system is going to struggle with the heat transfer process. The evaporator coil in the system can get too cold as a result, and that can cause ice to form. That insulating layer further impedes the heat transfer process, resulting in reduced heating output and even compressor problems. Short cycling is common in such cases, too, which increases both wear and tear on the system and energy consumption.
Finally, for both furnaces and heat pumps, there is the matter of indoor air quality. Now, the function of this air filter really is not to boost indoor air quality throughout your home. Instead, it is there to protect your heater itself from problems that can develop from pollutants building up within it.
That being said, if the filter is dirty enough, then it can actually cause the air the pollutants in it to bypass the filter entirely, squeezing through gaps between it and its frame, as the air seeks the path of least resistance. Don’t let this negatively affect indoor air quality in your home.