What Happens When You Don't Change Your Air Filters


Many think that trying to get the most out of their home is a long drawn out process, but really it is as simple and easy as changing out your air filters. Homeowners that choose to ignore the filters in their heating and air conditioning systems are at risk of higher energy cost, damaging expensive equipment, and diminishing indoor air quality. 


There are many particles floating in the air around us at the microscopic level: flakes of skin, pet dander and the fumes and residue from cooking, to name just a few. These particles increase with more activity and more time spent in your home; so you can imagine what has built up in your home these last few months. 


Changing your air filters is one of the most important and overlooked basic home maintenance tasks. If you want to keep the air in your home clean and avoid unnecessary repairs, consider replacing your air filters every 30 to 90 days.


There are five most seen harmful effects of not changing your air filters when they need to be changed.


1. You Spend Money on Energy Costs Without Seeing the Benefits

No matter the rate of airflow, your HVAC system is either running or not running. If the conditioned air sits around the coils, then you are heating or cooling the same air and not pushing it through into the ducts. Slow-moving air in the ducts will not stay the same temperature by the time it reaches each room.


With a dirty air filter, expect to increase the run-time of your HVAC system while only changing air temperature in small increments.


2. Your Air Conditioning System Runs Longer, Gets Clogged and Fails

Air conditioning repair can be very expensive. All of the air in your home, along with airborne particles, cycle through this single point multiple times in a single day. Similar to dust that settles on a flat surface, the spinning fan blade and air pressure in your HVAC system can force particles onto different surfaces, crevices, heating and cooling coils, and electrical and mechanical components.


The longer particles remain in the air, the more likely they will build up inside the unit, block air flow and cause damage.


HVAC components are engineered and manufactured with an expected lifespan of 15 years. The faster you can heat or cool your home, the less you have to run your HVAC system and the longer the equipment will last.


3. Heating and Cooling the Air Takes Longer with an Old Air Filter

Your HVAC system is one of the only methods of moving air inside of your home. Consider the location of your HVAC unit relative to air vents. As air filters load, the ability for air to move through the filter diminishes.


Have you ever noticed some rooms are warmer while others are cooler in your house? Depending on the distance, hot or cold air may need to travel further through ductwork. Without adequate air flow, rooms further away may stay cold in the winter and hot in the summer, while other areas get the majority of the air flow.


4. The Air in Rooms Becomes Stagnant

When air doesn’t move, it becomes stagnant. Odors, dust, moisture and other particles sit in the same space and fall onto surfaces, into carpeting, and places you don’t see. Wiping down surfaces isn’t enough, especially if you are using a chemical spray. The ingredients in cleaners get into the air with the other particles. Just because surfaces look clean doesn’t mean the room is clean.


5. Indoor Air Quality Gets Even Worse When You Don’t Change Your Air Filter

According to the EPA, indoor air quality is on average two to five times worse than the air outdoors. In some locations, air quality can be 100 times worse than the air outdoors. Much of this results from the energy crisis in the 1970s. To save energy, we improved our methods of construction and changed the materials we used to better seal buildings.


This is good news for energy costs but bad news for our respiratory systems, especially for allergy sufferers.


Changing out filters can have a profound impact on indoor air quality, energy costs and maximizing the value of your home on the US housing market.


By taking care of your home, you are ensuring that it’s value stays intact. Keeping your home market-ready will help you to sell whenever you are ready to make that next big move. 

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