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Repair & Maintenance

HVAC System Maintenance: Change Your Filter

It may not be AC weather just yet, but that is no reason not to be ready for the heat. Learn why it is important to change your filters. Maintain your HVAC system properly.

Changing air filter

Why It's Important to Change the Air Filter in Your HVAC System

Few home systems are as vital as your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), and that’s why proper HVAC maintenance is so important. Changing your HVAC filter regularly is a crucial part of HVAC maintenance and doing so can save you money and extend the life of your system, while maximizing the quality of your indoor air. 

Fortunately, changing your HVAC air filter is an affordable and simple job you can do in just a few minutes. 

You’ll Save Money

How does HVAC work? If you have an idea of how to answer this question, you’ll begin to understand why changing your HVAC filter is so important. Your HVAC system pulls in air to be heated or cooled, and then redistributes that air throughout your home via your home’s ventilation system (the “V” in HVAC). Your filter traps any pet hair, allergens, dust and debris, so that it doesn’t go into the complex mechanisms of the furnace or air conditioner. 

When the filter is clogged with dirt, dust and hair, your HVAC system uses much more energy than it does when your air filter is clean. A clean air filter allows the HVAC to function at its most efficient. This can save you five to 15 percent on your energy costs, which can make a big dent in those heating and cooling bills. 

You’ll Avoid HVAC Breakdowns

The last thing you need is your HVAC system breaking down in the middle of a blizzard or during a heat wave. Changing your filter regularly helps prevent that from happening. How? Because the dirtier your filter, the harder your HVAC has to work to pull air into the system. The harder it has to work to pull in air, the more stress the system has to cope with and the more energy it must use. That’s why clogged, dirty air filters are a leading cause of untimely, but completely avoidable, HVAC failures. 

You can avoid putting your system under undue stress and avoid unnecessary HVAC breakdowns. It’s as simple as changing your HVAC filter at least once every 90 days if you occupy your home full-time, or every six months if it’s a part-time residence. If you own a cat or dog, you should change your HVAC filter every two months, but if you have multiple pets or someone in your home has allergies, you should change it every four to six weeks.

Your HVAC Will Last Longer

Few of your home’s systems cost more to replace than the HVAC. Replacing your air conditioning unit will cost $3,500 to $7,500, while replacing your furnace will cost $2,000 to $5,000. With that kind of price tag, you want to make sure your HVAC system lasts as long as possible. Regular HVAC maintenance is the way to do that, and changing your filter regularly is the easiest, cheapest maintenance chore you can do yourself.

Your Indoor Air Will Be Cleaner

Dirty air filter vs. clean air filter

Your indoor air quality has a direct affect on yours and your family’s health, and even more so if someone in your home suffers from allergies, asthma or another respiratory complaint, or if you have children or elderly family members living in your home. 

The short-term effects of poor indoor air quality can include irritation of the mucus membranes in the eyes, nose and throat, as well as headaches, fatigue, dizziness and worsened allergy or asthma symptoms. The long-term effects can be even more severe, and can range from chronic respiratory illnesses to heart disease and even cancer. 

If you don’t change your HVAC filters regularly, you’re taking a big risk with yours and your family’s health. You can buy HEPA-rated HVAC filters that remove pollen, mites, pet fur and other allergens from the air to reduce asthma and allergy symptoms and help household members breathe easier. 

Are you looking for an easy and affordable way to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system, avoid HVAC breakdowns, keep your indoor air quality at its highest and save money on heating and cooling costs? It’s as easy as keeping your HVAC filters clean. Changing your HVAC filters keeps allergens and pollutants out of your indoor air and allows your HVAC system to function at peak efficiently. You’ll avoid doing needless and expensive damage to your heating and cooling system and keep your family safe, healthy and comfortable. Do you need a better reason? No, we didn’t think so! Go check your HVAC filters right now and change them ASAP – your HVAC system will thank you.

If you're looking for a more comprehensive option for AC maintenance, maybe you should consider a bi-annual AC Tune-Up. This service allows a qualified professional to perform the following tasks:

  • · Check and calibrate thermostats
  • · Test temperature split
  • · Check refrigerant levels and system pressures
  • · Perform amp draw on condenser motor, evaporator motor, and compressor
  • · Rinse condenser coils
  • · Check contactors and condensate lines
  • · Clean or replace (owner supplied) filters
  • · Clean and tighten electrical connections
  • · Test capacitors and check A/C operations
  • · Test safety switches and limit switches

If you're an American Home Shield® customer, AC tune-ups are an added benefit to your home warranty. Just make sure you have a MyAccount profile set up so that when the time comes for a tune-up, it'll be a simpler way to request service. Not an AHS customer yet? Now may be a good time to get coverage so that your unit is in proper working order for the summer. 

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