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How Important Is a Clean Air Filter?

man-holding-air-filterVery! Keeping a clean air filter in your air conditioning system this summer — and in your forced air heater during the winter season — is one of the simplest ways in which you can keep that system in prime working condition. The benefits of this simple step would be difficult to overstate, yet some homeowners are still inexplicably lax when it comes to changing their air filters. We’re here to tell you why you cannot afford to overlook this vital task.

If you are thinking that you can just leave your filter changes to your AC maintenance technician during your yearly maintenance appointments, think again. Yes, your technician will change out your filter for you. However, this filter really ought to be changed anywhere from every 1-3 months. Once a year simply is not going to cut it. Keep the following information in mind, and make sure that you’re also keeping a clean air filter in your air conditioner in Westport, CT.

The Problem with Dirty Air Filters

An air filter serves one purpose and one purpose only — to filter pollutants out of the air passing through that filter. Air filters are good at their jobs, and that means that a whole lot of pollutants are going to build up on an air filter over time. Eventually, that filter will become so packed with dust and dirt that it is going to get tougher to force air through the filter. This is where the problems start.

First of all, a very dirty air filter and the increased airflow resistance that it creates are going to force your HVAC system to work harder than it should have to in order to force air through that filter. This will cause it to use more energy, leaving you to pay more than you should have to just to heat and/or cool your home.

A dirty filter can also cause problems with your indoor air quality. While this type of air filter is not really meant to boost indoor air quality — a more efficient filter designated for this use is necessary to do that — it can negatively affect air quality if it is packed with pollutants. Airflow resistance may reach the point that passing through the filter is no longer the path of least resistance for the air. It may instead go through gasps between the filter and the frame, allowing unfiltered air to pass through the system.

System Performance

Yes, you may see higher energy costs and reduced indoor air quality, but even these issues are not the full extent of the problems that you may face due to forgetting about your air filter. The airflow resistance can cause your system to overheat, which leads to it shutting down. This can result in short cycling, with the system turning on and off far too frequently. That leads to even more energy waste, as well as a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on the system.

If you have any questions or want more information about changing your air filter, contact Celco Heating and Air Conditioning.

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