Does your home have forced-air heating and cooling equipment? If so, the HVAC system should include an air filter. If you care about improving indoor air quality and lowering your utility bills, remember to change your air filter regularly. Learn more about this home maintenance task here.

What is the Purpose of an HVAC Air Filter?

The most basic filters do nothing more than prevent dust, fibers, hair, and other large particles from settling on the sensitive HVAC equipment. Upgrading to a higher-efficiency filter is needed to remove smaller airborne particles, including mold spores, pet dander, and flour dust. The highest-rated filters can even trap bacteria, smoke, and many types of viruses for the best possible indoor air quality.

How Often Should You Change the Air Filter?

The EPA recommends changing ordinary air filters every three months. However, high-efficiency HEPA filters may last two to three years in residential settings (or six months in commercial settings) before needing to be replaced. Cleanable versions can also be washed and reused. For the best results, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

You may benefit from changing your air filter up to once a month if the following people or animals live in your home:

  • Dogs or cats, especially long-haired breeds
  • Small children
  • Smokers
  • Older adults
  • People with allergies, asthma, or chronic respiratory conditions
  • People with suppressed immune systems

Reasons to Change the Air Filter

If you use the same filter for too long, it becomes clogged with dust and other debris, causing numerous adverse effects. Change your filter as recommended to prevent the following problems:

  • Poor indoor air quality: A clogged filter can’t collect any more particles, so your air quality suffers. Old filters can also accumulate moisture, promoting mold growth that pollutes the indoor air every time the HVAC system runs.
  • Home comfort problems: Restricted airflow makes heating and air conditioning less effective, leading to hot and cold spots throughout the house. In fact, low airflow from your supply vents is a sign that you should change the air filter.
  • Decreased efficiency: Your furnace or air conditioner must work harder to combat the restricted airflow caused by a clogged filter. As a result, your heating and cooling bills increase.
  • Frequent repairs: An overworked HVAC system breaks down more often. This increases the need for emergency repairs, along with the cost and hassle associated with them.
  • Premature equipment failure: If you want your heating and cooling equipment to last longer, remember to replace the filter. Otherwise, neglecting this simple task could shorten your HVAC system’s lifespan by several years.

If you have a mold infestation, changing your air filter may not be enough to protect your family’s health. Whether growing in your HVAC system or elsewhere, mold colonies give off spores that can cause seasonal allergy-like symptoms or other complications in sensitive individuals. Let DKI provide mold remediation to improve the air quality in your home or business. Call 877-533-0210 or contact us online to request services today.