It’s important to regularly change your HVAC filter during both the heating and cooling seasons as this is when your furnace and air conditioner work hardest to keep your home comfortable. A clogged filter means there is obstructed air flow.
A clogged filter can cause a variety of problems, including expensive breakdowns and system inefficiencies.
If you’ve noticed that your HVAC filter is getting dirty more quickly than usual, it could be caused by one of the following issues:
- The thermostat has the fan setting in the “on” position constantly. A fan that’s always running may catch more airborne contaminants in the filter, but it also means you’ll need to change your filter more frequently.
- You’re using a filter that is too thick. The job of your filter is to catch contaminants as the air passes through, such as pet hair, dander, and dust. If you’re using a heavy, pleated filter, it’s going to catch more that tries to come through. Needless to say, the filter is going to get dirty fairly quickly.
- Holes in your ductwork. If there are leaks in your home’s ducts, air may be pulled in from areas, such as your attic or basement. This air may be contaminated with more dust which will clog your filter.
- Pet hair. All of the hair that animals shed may be getting circulated into the air and caught in your filter.
Why and how often should you change your furnace filter?
Changing your furnace filter on a routine basis will help improve your home’s indoor air quality, and it will also help improve the efficiency of your heating system. The Department of Energy recommends changing your filter 4-12 times per year. Routine replacement of the filter could potentially result in an annual reduction of 5-15% on your air conditioning and heating-related utility costs.
Not changing your furnace filter often? Your fan may be trying to push air through a filter clogged with dirt, dust, hair, and allergens. That could mean higher than normal energy bills, premature wear and tear on your system, and contaminated air for your family to breathe.
If you have noticed a dirtier than usual HVAC filter and your home doesn’t feel as comfortable as it should, it may be time to call a professional for an expert diagnosis of the problem.