Air filters are fairly simple by design, but they contribute a great deal to the quality of air, health, and overall property value. Your heating and cooling system works by recirculating air, which carries particles like dust, pollen, smoke that results from cooking or tobacco, pet dander, and more. Air filters reduce or remove these airborne particles and trap them in the filter media so they can’t recirculate.
Over time, the filter loads and airflow begins to diminish. In hot summers, that means running the air conditioner longer without noticeably decreasing temperatures. In cold winters, you risk trapping hot air in and around your furnace, which may prove dangerous. In either case, your energy bill skyrockets and you start wearing out your heating and cooling system more quickly.
Thankfully, changing air filters is fast and simple. They are also relatively inexpensive when you buy in bulk. If you still aren’t convinced, check out our list below of real problems that homeowners and property managers could have easily avoided by changing their air filters.
Change filters now and save money later
Since a new air filter allows for stronger air flow, your heating and cooling system runs more efficiently. This translates to less stress on mechanical components. Repairing or replacing an HVAC system can cost thousands of dollars, while at the same time running up energy costs. When you factor in those expenses, changing an air filters ever 30 to 90 days doesn’t seem like much of a strain. Instead, think about replacing filters as an investment in the long-term value of your property.
Avoid breathing in potentially dangerous airborne particles like mold and smoke
According to the EPA, indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. Modern construction techniques keep buildings energy efficient by preventing outgassing of conditioned air; however, that also means that fresh air can’t enter the building. So the chemicals we use to clean, the varnishes and other chemicals that evaporate from furniture, skin flakes, dust, pollen, pet dander and mold are trapped and allowed to constantly recirculate through the air. For allergy suffers, that might mean daily discomfort. For others, this can contribute to a new respiratory problem, or worsen an existing condition. Whatever the value of your health, if an air filter can reduce those costs it is definitely worthwhile.
Cleaning is a constant uphill battle
A dirty air filter contributes to poor airflow, which results in a lack of air circulation. When air doesn’t move, it becomes stagnate. This allows airborne contaminants to slowly fall out of the air and settle on surfaces. It doesn’t happen all at once. You may find that cleaning never stops. What’s more, while the chemicals in these cleaning products may be great for wiping down surfaces, they also get into the air and may be decreasing air quality. Proper airflow through a new air filter can greatly reduce these issues, especially when outside air is introduced into the normal operation of a building’s heating and cooling system.
The equity you put into your property, and the cost of your health should be enough to get you thinking about your air filters. We suggest doing a quick visual inspection of air filters at the beginning of every month. If you notice a lot of discoloration, clumping of dirt and debris, or poor airflow, it’s time to replace your air filter. Never keep the same filter for more than three months, or when the seasons change.