What Happens if I Don’t Change My Air Filter?

goodbadfiltersIf you are like most homeowners, you know that you are supposed to change your air filters about every 3 months.  If you are like me, occasionally, that does not happen!  It’s very easy to overlook this home maintenance task when you are not face to face with the filters every day.

So what’s the big deal?  Do I REALLY need to change them that frequently?  In an effort to answer this, let’s take a look at what happens if you do not.

System Inefficiency & Failure:

When your air filter becomes dirty and clogged with debris, air cannot flow through properly.  This is the number one reason for system inefficiency and failure. The added strain on the fan motor can cause it to overheat and eventually fail to operate. In the mean time, stressing the system forces more energy consumption leading to higher electricity costs and utility bills.

Poor Air Quality:

Today’s air filters are specially designed to remove many harmful contaminates from indoor air.  Allowing your air filters to become dirty decreases contaminate catching efficiency of the filter media. Depending on the MERV rating, contaminates that are removed include:

  • Lint and Dust
  • Pollen
  • Pet Dander
  • Mold
  • Dust Mites
  • Auto Emissions
  • Smoke
  • Bacteria

Dirty House:

Dirt, dust and debris from dirty air filters cause heating and air conditioning system and air ducts to become dirty faster.  This dirt and dust in turn, will be re-circulated into your home out of the ventilation systems causing a much dustier living space.

Bad for the Environment:

Dirty air filters increase your carbon footprint because they force the system to work harder using more energy.

As you can see there are legitimate reasons why it is necessary to replace your furnace and air filters on a regular basis.  Improving indoor air quality by removing harmful contaminates, keeping your house clean longer, saving money on high utility bills and decreasing your carbon footprint are all good reasons to make sure you replace your filters.  Most require either monthly changes or every 3 months.  This will depend on the type of filter you use.  Follow the manufacturer guidelines.

You can visit FiltersFast.com to learn more about air filter MERV ratings, which will help you determine which filters to use, as well as find all standard and custom sized filters and a wide variety of brands to choose from.