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What Happens If I Don’t Regularly Change My HVAC System’s Air Filter

hvac air filterYour HVAC system is one of the most essential features in your home. Without it, household residents would not be able to enjoy a comfortable and overall safe living environment during the hottest and coldest months of the year.

Beyond merely cooling and heating your abode, your home HVAC system also does the important job of filtering the indoor air. This is how many airborne particulates like dust, dirt, dander, and pollen are removed.

By extracting these all-too-common contaminants, your HVAC system ultimately improves and moderates your indoor air quality (IAQ). This, however, is only possible when the unit is well-maintained, and the HVAC filter is clean.

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What Happens When My HVAC Air Filters Aren’t Changed On A Regular Basis?

A central home HVAC system works by distributing cooled air throughout the building interior. At the same time, it deposits stale, warm, indoor air outside. This might seem like the perfect opportunity for the equipment to discharge collected particulates as well.

In reality, however, these remain captured in the fine mesh of the filter. Over time, despite being invisible when floating through the air, large accumulations of indoor contaminants can create a grey, furry mass that coats the filter. The longer that you wait to change this filter, the bigger this lint-like mass will eventually become.

Many homeowners who don’t have an established schedule for changing their HVAC air filters are surprised to see just how dirty these components get. In fact, more often than not, a dirty filter is only discovered after it has already caused secondary problems in the system. This is an instance in which what you cannot see, can actually harm you. Even though you might not be aware of just how filthy and coated your HVAC filter has become, your lungs probably are.

After accumulating so much dust and other debris, the HVAC system will eventually lose its ability to have any positive impact on the overall air quality. It will remove fewer contaminants from the air inside of your home. Moreover, many of the same particulates that have already been captured by the filter will be re-released.

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The Impact A Dirty HVAC Filter Can Have On The People Living In Your Home

respiratory issuesPoor indoor air qualities can have a noticeable impact on how people feel. You may find yourself frequently dealing with dry, itchy, or watery eyes. Extended bouts of sneezing might occur. Sinus irritation can develop. The airborne particulates will irritate your eyes, nasal passageways, and wreak havoc on your lungs.

People with asthma, allergies, COPD or any other existing respiratory conditions are likely to suffer the most. Some household residents may even begin to exhibit the symptoms of respiratory illness, even though no problems were apparent before. Elderly people and infants are also extremely vulnerable to the detrimental effects of low IAQ. Family pets can experience unfortunate changes in their health and well-being as well.

A Dirty Filter Will Do Far More Than Lower Your Indoor Air Quality

Not only can a dirty HVAC filter impact human health, but several equipment-related concerns are likely to arise. A dirty air filter will diminish the overall efficiency of any home heating and cooling system.

Once a grey, furry, lint-like mass begins to form on this component, the HVAC features will have to work much harder to move and distribute conditioned air throughout the home. This extra work translates as additional energy use. It also causes a significant increase in overall system wear. As a result, your utility bills will be considerably higher, and the lifespan of your home HVAC equipment is shorter.

Regular filter changes are an easy way to improve the IAQ for your home. You can also control your energy costs while limiting your carbon footprint. Furthermore, you can protect this essential home equipment.

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Dirty Filters Lead To Dirty Ducts

hvac air ductsCentral HVAC systems distribute cooled air throughout the home via a hidden and interconnected system of ductwork. For many homes, the installation of ductwork took place during the initial construction of the building.

When HVAC filters become so inundated with collected debris, they can no longer collect anymore. Instead, the particulates move through the ducts and air registers. Some materials will pass right on through to enter general living areas. Others can become trapped in these channels and start forming new accumulations of lint-like, grey matter.

While changing your home HVAC filter is an easy, do-it-yourself maintenance task, cleaning out your HVAC ducts will require professional help.

How Often Should My HVAC Air Filters Be Changed?

There are a lot of general recommendations for this critical bit of HVAC maintenance. What every homeowner should know, however, is that many different factors will ultimately determine the best filter changing the schedule for each home.

For instance, if you happen to live in a particularly dusty area, near a major highway, or have pets, you should probably change this component more frequently. This frequency is necessary, especially when comparing it to a home in a grassy, relatively dust-free, rural area. Homes in these areas require less air filter replacements. Households that heavily rely on their HVAC systems should perform filter changes more frequently than households that barely use this equipment. A good rule of thumb to follow is to check is monthly and replace when necessary.

If you have been neglectful in this area of home maintenance, get in touch with a reputable HVAC service near you. Your provider can help you determine the most optimum filter changing the schedule for your household. Additionally, they can inspect your ducts and inform you of their condition.

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Conclusion

Lawes Company is a highly respected HVAC services provider that can assist home and business owners with their heating and cooling issues. If you need HVAC repairs, maintenance work, or system installation, then we are the one to call. Our reasonable rates and friendly NATE certified HVAC technicians would make your visit with us a pleasant experience.

Learn more about what we can do for you by calling us today. We provide free consultations at your preferred schedule. Tell us about your concerns and your questions. We will answer them to the best of our abilities and your satisfaction. Act now so you can get the help that you need. Our representatives are standing by so call Lawes Company today!

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