Indoor air quality is a prime concern these days. Today, people don’t believe in opening doors and windows to let in the fresh air as it lets in dust, dirt, pollen, and sometimes even unwanted visitors like insects and critters. It is also considered unsafe from a safety point of view as people with malicious intent like vandals and thieves may find easy access to your home and valuables. Therefore, for the purpose of indoor comfort and ventilation, the dependence on the HVAC system has increased heavily. Thankfully, these systems are equipped with an inbuilt system for removing contaminants from the air – Air Filters.
Air Filters Are Crucial
Air filters have a closely knit mesh-like structure. When air passes through it, the mesh traps the contaminants suspended in the air. The finer the mesh, the more tiny contaminants it will trap. The air that finally comes back indoors is much cleaner than what was sent to the heating and cooling system. Needless to say, the indoor air quality improves.
Replacing The Air Filters
As the air filters trap the suspended particles and remove them from circulation, there is a slow and steady build-up that hinders the easy passing of air. However, this build-up does not happen all at once but is a slow process. Depending on how much dust is present in your environment and locality in general, it can take anywhere between a month to three for the air filters to be deemed dirty.
It is necessary to change or replace the air filters once they become dirty. It is because failing to do so will cause strain on the HVAC unit. Consequently, its components may start overheating. It will also bring down the level of indoor comfort and might even cause malfunctions.
Do All Air Filters Need To Be Replaced?
All air filters don’t need replacement. To know which one do and which ones don’t, you need to know their type. Air filters come in two basic types:
1. Use And Throw Air Filters – These are made of cardboard and cannot be washed. Once they become dirty, washing them will tear the cardboard, and the air filter will no longer fit. The good news is that these filters are cheap, and hence, there is no need for you to think of washing them – Chuck the dirty ones and clip on a clean set.
2. Washable Air Filters – These are made of a sturdy material that can withstand a good wash. Suffice to say, they don’t come cheap. So the set you install with your HVAC system will do the work throughout the life of the unit as long as you give it a thorough scrubbing and washing from time to time.
Why Air Filters Need To Be Replaced?
When you fail to replace the air filters or clean the washable ones, the indoor air quality deteriorates, and airflow gets obstructed. These two things cause the following problems:
1. Health Issues – As the indoor air quality falls, you will notice that more people in the household fall ill. Also, the frequency with which they fall ill increases. Mostly it will be things like allergies, breathing problems, itchy skin, and sore throat that troubles them. In a few cases, it may even lead to severe bronchitis and asthma. A young adult may still be able to bear the brunt of such illnesses, but it will leave the elderly and infants tired, restless, and irritated. Your trips to the medical practitioner will increase, and all because the air filters were not replaced when they should have been.
2. Increase In Power Bills – When the airflow to the HVAC system decreases, so does its output. Consequently, the unit has to run longer to maintain the same indoor temperature as before. Long working hours mean more power consumption. In turn, it means more hefty power bills. So, when you notice a sudden spike in your energy bills, check the air filters’ condition.
3. Increase In Wear And Tear Of The Unit – Typically, every electrical and mechanical unit suffers wear and tear. The HVAC system is no different. Nonetheless, you need to be cautious of excessive wear and tear, which happens when the machinery works under strain. Lack of airflow to the unit will make it work harder. This will increase its degeneration leading to frequent faults and malfunctions.
Air Filter Is Not To Be Blamed Every Time
A dirty air filter may be a contributing factor to the HVAC problems. It is not necessary that it is the only thing. Therefore, even after replacing or cleaning the air filter, as the case may be if you see no or marginal improvement only, it is best to call your trusted HVAC technician. It is quite possible that there may be another problem that has not been identified yet, which is causing the issue. Once all the problems are identified and sorted, you should not have any further trouble.
If there has been no notable increase in your residential or commercial HVAC system use, you should not have to deal with increased energy bills. If you do, and at the same time, you also feel that more people in your space are falling ill, you are most probably dealing with the case of dirty air filters. Replace them immediately, and for the future, set a reminder at regular intervals for changing them before the condition worsens.
Aztil Air Conditioning is a premier HVAC contractor in West Palm Beach, Florida. We have been offering professional HVAC services at affordable pocket-friendly rates since 1981. Our range of services includes HVAC installation, repairs, and maintenance. In addition, we also offer indoor air quality solutions and duct cleaning services. To schedule an appointment, call us at +1-888-729-8452 anytime. We are open 24/7 and serve both homeowners and business owners alike. We promise prompt action in case of an emergency, so you no longer have to suffer unnecessarily. Do give us a chance to wow you with our world-class services.