dirty air filter

What Happens When You Forget to Change the Air Filter?

Fresh Filters and Your HVAC System

Like most homeowners, you probably don’t pay much attention to your HVAC system until it starts malfunctioning or things come to a screeching halt. We’ll let you in on a secret: most of the time, these breakdowns stem from a clogged air filter.

While changing the air filter may seem like a simple task, it can often be overlooked and forgotten about for months. To keep your HVAC system running smoothly, among other benefits, it’s vital to swap your air filters regularly.

How Do Air Filters Work?

Air filters typically consist of either spun fiberglass or pleated paper enclosed in a stiff cardboard frame. They basically act as a barrier, preventing unwanted contaminants from circulating throughout the home. Clean filters can help block the spread of:

  • Dust
  • Lint
  • Mold
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Bacteria

When used as intended, air filters do an excellent job filtering out unwanted airborne particles. No one wants to inhale contaminated air, and thanks to air filters, we don’t have to!

How Often Should I Replace My Air Filter?

The allotted time between air filter replacements depends on several factors. When determining a schedule for air filter replacements, you should consider the following:

  • Type of air filter you’re using
  • Number of occupants and pets in the household
  • Allergy sensitivities
  • Respiratory conditions

All of the above factors contribute to how frequently you should be changing your filters. For instance, if your home has one pet, a good rule of thumb is to change the filter every 60 days. For homes with multiple pets and occupants, those with respiratory conditions, or family members with allergies, we recommend changing the filter around every 20 to 45 days. Suppose you have a second home you visit from time to time. In that case, you should make an effort to change the air filters every couple of months.

What Happens If I Forget to Change the Filter?

Life gets busy, we understand! If you haven’t been swapping your air filters as frequently as you should, there’s no time like the present to start practicing this crucial maintenance step.

However, if you continue to ignore your air filters, they can quickly become clogged with pesky particles, leading to a wide variety of issues for your HVAC system.

Depleted System Efficiency

Your HVAC system works hard to keep up with the cooling and heating demands of your home, but when it has to work with a clogged air filter, the efficiency of your system decreases.

Think about it: when your AC has to push air through a congested barrier, it is forced to overwork itself to continue pushing that air through the clogged filter. Don’t make it excessively difficult for your heating and cooling system. Set your system up for success with a brand new filter.

Expensive Energy Bills

When your HVAC system is forced to work overtime thanks to a clogged filter, you’ll most likely see it reflected in your monthly energy bill. A simple filter swap can save you from any unwanted surprises on your next statement.

Inadequate Air Quality

Like we mentioned before, all kinds of contaminants can set up camp in your air filter. When you allow these particles and debris to build up over time, your air filter will no longer have the ability to trap additional airborne pollutants. The consequences of poor air quality can be devastating to all, especially those with allergies or dust sensitivities.

Potential System Breakdowns

You may be surprised to discover that a dirty air filter can be a driving source behind a complete system breakdown. When your air conditioner is forced to run off a clogged filter, excessive stress is put on your system’s motors, potentially leading to system failure. When comparing the costs, it’s definitely cheaper to invest in a couple of air filters regularly than paying for an entirely new system.

HVAC Maintenance in Central Jersey

If you need assistance with staying on top of your HVAC maintenance, Valairco is
Central Jersey’s select team. We provide convenient and affordable maintenance options perfectly tailored to your home and budget. Give us a call today at (855) 661-3300 for more information on our services.