Home heating and cooling systems are one of our main sources of comfort and ventilation in our homes and offices, and it’s easy to forget about them until something starts going wrong. One of the simplest and most important ventilation maintenance projects is to replace your air filter regularly. Here are some signs that now is the right time to tackle this project!
#1 – Increased Energy Bills
Are your energy bills higher than they usually are even though you’re using your air conditioner or heating system the same way you always do? This is a sign that the system is drawing a lot more power to get the job done, and a dirty filter is often the root cause of the issue. Over time, the filters get clogged up with all the contaminants you don’t want in your home or building – pollens, dust, pollutants, etc – so the system has to draw more energy to pull enough air through the blocked-up filters.
#2 – The Unit is Running Hot
If your unit is hot to the touch even when it’s not operating in a heatwave or cold snap, then the air filters may be blocking airflow into the system, causing the unit to work a lot harder to draw in air. It’s important to check the air filters if you are having this problem, as the additional strain on the system will cause parts to wear out faster, leading to more costly repairs.
#3 – Your Allergies are Getting Worse
One of the reasons that people enjoy using air conditioning and heating systems is that the filters clear out all the airborne contaminants that trigger allergies, asthma and other respiratory problems. If your allergies are getting worse or your asthma is playing up when you’re spending time at home, it can mean that your air filters are too old or clogged up to properly filter the air.
#4 – Your Home is Getting Dusty
If you’re finding that you have to clean your home more often because dust is gathering on your surfaces (especially those near ventilation vents), then your filters are not operating as they should be. Usually, they would capture this dust, but as they degrade, they become much less effective. Replacing your air filters will help restore your home to its usual clean and dust-free state.
#5 – You Can’t Remember When Last the Air Filter Was Changed
How often you need to change your air filter depends a lot on your environment and your individual needs. For example, if you live in a dusty area or urban environment, or if you have allergies or asthma, you’ll want to change your air filter more regularly. As a general rule, however, your ventilation’s air filters should be replaced every 3 months. It’s a good idea to replace them with high-efficiency HEPA or CADR rated air filters, as these are the most effective filters on the market, with some rated as effective even for helping to remove virus and bacteria particles from the air. Many of these can also be washed or cleaned rather than replaced, making them last much longer.
While this is a DIY job, it can be helpful to get in professionals to evaluate your system as well as recommend and install the right air filters for your home or office.