Regularly changing the air filter in your home furnace and returns seems like a small thing, but simply changing out your air filters can have a large positive effect on your home.
Here is what changing out your filters actually does to the air in your home (and your wallet!)
Costs go down with a cleaner filter. Whether your HVAC system is large or small and no matter how much air flows through it, it is either running or not running. If it is not running, the conditioned air sits around the coils rather than getting pumped through the home. If it is doing that, then you are heating or cooling the same air over and over. Simple as that. And when a clogged air filter slows the air moving out to the home, the air will warm (if the AC is on) and cool (if the Heat is on) before it reaches each room in the house.
Stagnant Air is reduced with a cleaner filter. This is especially true in areas with more moisture (like Hampton Roads). When air moves more slowly, it becomes stagnate. Surfaces, carpeting, and all of the little nooks and crannies in the home get covered with odors, dust, and other particles fall onto these places and gather. These particles can affect you even if the surfaces appear to be clean. The more people, pets, cooking, carpets and other vulnerable surfaces there are, the more this can be an issue.
Heating / cooling rooms takes longer without a cleaner filter. This is a natural result of what was mentioned above. Slower moving air cools or warms on its way through ducts, making a slower trip far less efficient and taking longer.
HVAC systems last longer with a clean filter. Your furnace and AC unit look like they are pretty durable (and they are), but just like with us, not getting the proper maintenance makes these complex machines work harder and break down eventually sooner. Want to get more life out of your HVAC unit? Replacing filters is a good place to start. If makes the machinery work less and extends its life.
Indoor Air Quality improves with a clean filter. It makes total sense that this would be the case. That said, indoor air is typically twice as dirty as outdoor air. In some climates and areas it can be many times as dirty. A clean filter helps the home "breathe" better and filter out pollen, pet dander, dust and particulate much more efficiently.
So the bottomline on Air Filters and HVAC maintenance? It is recommended by most experts that you replace your funace filter and other filters every 30 to 90 days and that you get your HVAC unit serviced at least annually. It is a low cost way to prevent bigger expenses and keep you feeling better at the same time!