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Can Regularly Changing the Filter Extend the Life of your HVAC System?

Changing the air filter on your HVAC system is fast and easy to do. Better yet, it is a proven strategy that extends the life of your unit and makes it run more efficiently all year-round. Most manufacturers recommend that you change your HVAC filter seasonally, or once every three months.

While your system probably isn’t going to blow up if you forget, committing to this simple maintenance schedule will help it heat and cool more evenly and will dramatically improve the air quality in your home.  A dirty filter can drastically reduce airflow essentially starving your system for air. This can cause the indoor coil, refrigerant lines and outdoor unit to freeze up like a solid block of ice. This will not only keep your home from cooling, over time it will decrease the life expectancy of your system.

Poor indoor air quality is a significant health risk

The United States Environmental Protection Agency EPA has identified indoor air quality as a significant health risk. HVAC filters are meant to trap airborne allergens and particles, but when they are dirty or clogged, they will not function efficiently. This means that you will be breathing air that could be full of pollen, dust, pet dander or chemical pollutants from cleaning solutions and other household products.

If you suffer from asthma or any type of breathing disorder, the added stress on your respiratory system could be deadly. However, in many cases, health problems don’t show up for several years after exposure and once they have taken hold, there is little you can do about it. Bottom line – even if there are no identifiable symptoms or illness in your household, taking precautionary measures today may save your breath in the future.

New HVAC filters help your system heat and cool more efficiently

A new air filter removes dust and particles from the air you breathe, but it also keeps your system from getting gummed up. If your HVAC filter is clogged, it not only won’t filter the air in your home, it will trap it within the system itself, allowing dust and other contaminants to settle on the fan, blower motor, heat exchanger, and other moving parts. When the “guts” of your system is squeaky clean, you can count on maximum performance and the longest possible life of your unit.

Even if your HVAC filter “looks okay”, change it anyway

Sometimes you will remove a filter and think “hey, this doesn’t look too bad at all.” However, looks can be deceiving. What looks clean on the outside might be full of dust and dirt on the inside. Leaving the old filter in will, at the very least, reduce its efficiency, but in the worst-case scenario, it could actually harm the system. Get on a regular maintenance schedule and when you know it’s time to change your filter, just do it as a matter of course. Being diligent in this will reward you by maximizing the life of your HVAC system and keeping you comfortable throughout the summer and winter months.

If you can’t remember the last time you changed your HVAC filter, it’s probably time you did. Swapping out your dirty old filter for a shiny new one only takes a few minutes of your time. Doing so will allow your unit to run more efficiently, extending its life—and your investment—to its fullest potential.

If you live in the Denver area, Summit Heating and AC provides maintenance services for all types of HVAC systems. Give us a call today to find out how we can help.

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