This is the time of year when many people fall prey to nasty cold and flu viruses. If you or a family member have been sneezing, coughing, and just generally not feeling well, you may actually be sick, or you may be experiencing symptoms caused by a dirty air filter.
Many homeowners don’t realize that a clogged air filter could be causing them to experience cold- and flu-like symptoms. However, it’s more common than you think. After all, the main responsibility of your filter is to prevent pollutants, such as pet dander and dust, from reaching the air your family breathes. When the filter is clogged, it’s not able to trap air contaminants as well as normal, and they get pushed back through your ducts and into your living space. The health issues you experience as a result of the dirty filter are likely caused by allergic reactions to the particles in the air.
What’s worse is that a dirty air filter can also foster the development of nasty mold spores. Mold doesn’t just make your home smell musty; it can also cause a variety of serious health issues for your loved ones, such as worsened respiratory issues (asthma), headaches, fatigue, and skin irritation.
How often should I change my filter to prevent these symptoms?
Check the owner’s manual that came with your heating system to determine how often to change your filter, as well as to better understand which MERV-rating is recommended for optimal air cleanliness and system efficiency.
If your owner’s manual doesn’t mention anything about the filter, or if you can’t locate the manual, it’s generally recommended that you change the air filter on a monthly basis during the peak heating and cooling seasons. If you have pets or smokers in your home, you may need to change the filter more often to prevent issues with indoor air quality.
A dirty air filter doesn’t just cause you to feel sick...
A clogged filter can cause your heating and cooling system to become inefficient. All air passing through your systems must go through the filter. If the filter is dirty and full of dust, airflow is restricted. This can cause your heating and cooling system to work harder than it should, and this can ultimately lead to premature wear and tear, a total system breakdown, or expensive utility bills each month.
Preventative maintenance is key
In addition to changing your air filter on a regular basis, you should also be sure to schedule annual tune-up appointments with a professional for your heating and cooling systems. At Oncourse Home Solutions, we have Heating Maintenance and Cooling Maintenance plans available for a low monthly cost. When you are enrolled in one of these plans, call us to schedule an appointment with a skilled, experienced professional who will be able to make sure your systems are in tip-top shape each year.