Everyone knows that air filters pick up dirt, become clogged, and ultimately need to be replaced. For most homeowners, this is a chore that is easy to neglect. Unfortunately, clogged air filters can lead to increased energy usage as your air conditioning system becomes less efficient and, even worse, can result in damage to costly components. All of this can make your poor air filter seem like an object for scorn. Not only do you have to spend time and money to replace it, but a clogged filter can even cause your whole AC system to fail!
Sadly, your air filter is the true unsung hero of your HVAC system. It is the front line of defense against the myriad of invaders that want to make their way through your home's ductwork. Consider all of the things that your air filter does for you on a daily basis.
Soaks Up Excess Pet Hair
You know that pet hair has a way of making it all throughout your house, but it can make its way into your HVAC system as well. Your ductwork makes use of return vents which pull air from your home back into the system. Pet hair can easily find its way into these return vents, making it all the way down to your filter. Of course, it is your filter that prevents this air from making its way back into your ductwork and into your home.
Unfortunately, pet hair is much larger than the debris that your filter would normally encounter. This means that as pet hair is sucked up against the filter, it will clog much more quickly than usual. If you have pets, you can do your filter a favor by vacuuming more often and taking extra care to keep areas around return vents clean.
Keeps Allergens Out
Your air filter's primary job is to sacrifice itself to keep dust, debris, and allergens out of your home. If you have asthma or bad allergies, then your air filter is the number one thing keeping air quality up in your home. Not only does it help to filter fresh air, but it works to remove existing allergens from your home as they are recirculated back through the return vents. As the filter becomes clogged, however, it's ability to keep these problematic particles out is degraded and it may ultimately begin to allow allergens into your ductwork if it is not changed on time.
Prevents the Spread of Mold
Mold is a dirty word for most homeowners, but the truth is that most homes have at least some mold spores present. This generally isn't a problem as long as the mold is unable to take hold in areas that are dark and damp enough for it to for it to grow successfully. Your filter helps to protect your home from mold by preventing mold from spreading from room to room. Spores caught in your filter cannot reach areas of your home where they may be able to take root, saving your health and preventing costly future mold remediation.
Ultimately, your filter is a vital and surprisingly cheap part of your home's HVAC system. It keeps your system functioning properly and keeps the air quality in your home high. It can sometimes seem like a burden to regularly change your filter, but spending a few minutes and a few dollars every 4-6 weeks will keep your AC system in great shape and your home's air fresh and clean. For more ideas check out air conditioning repair professionals.