With temperatures continuing to drop, home heating is a subject that weighs on our minds more and more. Hopefully, your system has been expertly installed or, if you already had one in place, thoroughly tuned up. There is one step that you yourself must handle if you want to get the most out of a forced-air heating system like a heat pump or furnace, though. You must keep a fresh air filter in place.
The frequency with which you change your air filter will vary depending upon a number of different factors. One fact that remains constant, however, is that a dirty air filter will result in issues with your heating. Keep the following information in mind, and be diligent in changing your air filter this winter.
- Efficiency. In North Carolina, the chill of winter can pale in comparison to the heat of summer. That doesn’t mean that you don’t want to get the most efficient performance possible from your heating system though, right? When you heat your home, it should not come at a cost that gives you sticker shock. Increased airflow resistance due to a dirty air filter can lead you to pay more than you should have to in order to keep your home warm and comfortable.
- Air Quality. The air filter in your heater is not an indoor air quality system. Its primary purpose is not to protect the quality of the air throughout your entire house. Instead, it is really there to protect your heater itself from the buildup of pollutants on its components. That being said, a very polluted air filter can cause unfiltered air to bypass the filter, along with the pollutants in that air.
- Wear and Tear. One final consideration is the wear and tear on your HVAC system. The harder that the system has to work to do its job, the more wear and tear that the system will incur. A dirty air filter may also cause enough airflow resistance to trigger short cycling, causing the system to start up and shut down too frequently. This greatly increases the risk of operational problems.