The best thing you can do to keep your HVAC system running efficiently and durably for years to come is change the air filter on a regular basis. HVAC systems use filters to trap particles that would otherwise enter the air handler. Cooling and heating systems operate most efficiently when these filters are clean, allowing for the airflow that the manufacturer intended.

How Dust Affects Your System

When the filter is covered with dust, airflow through the air handler slows, driving up the length of time it takes the HVAC appliance to condition your home. This in turn drives up energy consumption and stresses all the parts, potentially causing premature system failure. Neglecting this household chore could even cause your system to stop running altogether. As airflow slows, the air pressure drops and some systems have controls that shut it down with the pressure slows too much.

Dust covering the evaporator coil in a central air conditioning system or heat pump also reduces the system’s efficiency, and when cooling, this can cause the coil to freeze over. Left running, the compressor in the outdoor condenser can overheat and fail. Compressors are one of the most expensive parts in an HVAC system to replace. Dust can cover the heat exchanger in a gas furnace, which could cause it to crack, which could be a catastrophic repair.

Change Your Air Filter

If you don’t know where the air filter is located, look in the owner’s manual or consult an HVAC professional who can show you. HVAC manufacturers design systems so that changing the filter a relatively easy and inexpensive task. Filters are widely available, but before you pick up a new one, make sure it’s the exact size for your system and rated for your equipment. Putting in too dense a filter can cause the same problems as a dirty filter does.

To learn more about the importance of a clean air filter, contact Pioneer Comfort Systems.