Of all the home maintenance tasks, one of the most commonly forgotten is changing the HVAC air filters. Unfortunately, even though it may not seem like a very important part, the air filters on your heating and air conditioning system have a lot to do with your home’s comfort and your energy bill.
The reason your HVAC system has air filters is to help keep the system clean. A clean HVAC system will warm and cool your house more efficiently. But, when the system gets dirty, the amount of air flow is cut down, reducing the amount of warm or cool air sent to keep your house comfortable.
To cut down on excessive energy usage, you want to change your air filters before they get dirty. The question is, when is that? Most filters are designed to last 30 days in a typical installation. So, if you change them every 30 days, you will probably maintain a clean system. However, if you live in a dusty environment, there is a good chance that your air filters won’t last the 30 days.
There are filters which are designed to last more than the typical 30 days. These filters, which cost a little more, are designed to last 60, or even 90 days. Should you decide to use these longer life filters, be sure to check them every 15 days or so the first time you use them, to ensure that they are not overly dirty. While these air filters will last the longer time, you don’t want them to reduce air flow and increase your energy costs.
If you have a programmable thermostat, it will probably have a filter alarm built in. This is a great help for those of us who forget. If not, make sure you mark the date you need to change your air filter on your calendar, so you don’t miss that date.