Air Filter | Heating and Air Conditioning
The air filter for your heating and air conditioning system plays a far more important role in the proper performance and long-term service than many homeowners realize. Whether it is winter or summer, a dirty air filter can cause a number of problems for your heating and air conditioning system.
The following are some of the issues your system can experience due to a consistent failure to change the filter:
- Reduced airflow – The longer the air filter is allowed to go without changing, the more dirt, dust and other grime will build up. A clogged filter prevents air from moving through the filter as it should, resulting in the system working a lot harder than it should in its struggle for air.
- Frozen coil – When the system is struggling due to a clogged air filter, it is possible the cooling coil may freeze up inside of the system, resulting in the AC blowing warm air.
- Complete failure of heating and/or air conditioning – An unchanged filter for months on end will eventually result in a component wears out or breaking resulting in the need for repair, or replacement of the system. The compressor can be the component that fails due to a dirty filter, and is often cost prohibitive for replacement. If this occurs, you will face the decision to replace the compressor, or the entire system. A dirty filter reduces the lifespan of the heating and air conditioning system.
- Reduced energy efficiency is the result of the system having to work harder, and of worn components from being overworked.
- With the filter unable to effectively do its job, air quality will suffer as dust and debris make its way around the cracks and crevices surrounding the filter. This debris will coat the evaporator coal and other components within the system. As it creates friction in moving parts, they will experience premature wear and tear, requiring repair. In addition, the dust and debris will pulled into the duct system, increasing dust, pollen and other particles throughout the home.
- Unable to properly function, the system will be unable to maintain your home’s comfort.
The Frequency of Change
Homeowner’s frequently ask how often the air filter should be changed. The required frequency will vary depending on filter type, the home size, and the dust conditions of the home. For example, if you have a pet, or are located near a dusty industrial site or busy road, the filter will need to be changed about twice as often. When your home is exposed to dusty conditions, the best practice is to inspect the filter weekly and change as needed. Pleated filters claim to last 90 days, but with normal dust conditions in the home, inspect it each month, and change every 2 months. Your heating and air conditioning system will last longer, perform better and provide more efficiently.
Ensure the Correct Size
Do not run the heating and air conditioning system with the wrong size filter. A poorly fitting filter will allow dust and other contaminates to enter the system, causing the same damage and poor air quality of an overly dirty filter. Dirty filters and poorly fitting filters are the main cause of clogged, dirty air conditioning coils. Dirty coils reduce efficiency, and the compressors lifespan and performance, resulting in costly repair or replacement of the system.
If you have family members suffering from asthma, allergies, sinus issues or other respiratory conditions, the standard blue fiberglass filter will not provide a solution. There are a number of options available when it comes to high efficiency filters and air cleaners. Not all will be a solution for your system, and your HVAC technician is your best guide in assuring a filter for your system that assists you in your goals, without causing damage.
Air cleaners can provide a higher air quality than residential air filters. They are capable of removing finer dust and particulates more extensively for improved air quality. They are also capable of trapping mold spores, bacteria, viruses, pollens and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) found in the home environment. Those who suffer from allergies, and other respiratory conditions can benefit as an air cleaner provides greater efficiency in the removal of allergens from the air circulating through the home’s heating and air conditioning system.
Mold is a serious issue that can affect the health of individuals. It is important to control indoor moisture to limit mold growth. Some preventative actions to consider include:
- Annual heating and air conditioning maintenance will provide an inspection of the coils, and cleaning provided to remove mold, bacteria, and the grime that can affect the coils performance.
- UV lamp installation – kills mold and bacteria on your coils and keeps them clean
- Dehumidifier installation – provides moisture control in the home to prevent the growth of mold or mildew
If you have questions about your systems recommended air filter, to schedule an evaluation of your system, for repair, maintenance or an estimate for a new heating and air conditioning installation, call the licensed, certified professionals at Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning. We serve Katy, Plano and the surrounding areas, and are a member of the BBB with an A+ rating.