Often overlooked, furnace filters are the simplest, least expensive way to ensure your HVAC system works efficiently and effectively. In fact, up to half of the energy consumed in your home can be attributed to your heating and cooling system. A small component to your furnace, the filter has a significant impact on your energy costs, system lifetime and air quality.

Let’s consider those benefits of regular filter maintenance:

  1. System Lifetime. The most common reason a heating and air conditioning system breaks is due to a dirty filter. As dirt accumulates, it prohibits air from passing through the filter causing the motor to work harder to keep the home warm. Any mechanical component that is working overtime adds stress on the entire system leading to premature failure. By simply replacing your filter on a routine basis, you can lengthen the lifetime of your heating system.
  1. Energy Costs.A filter clogged with dust and other particles can cause energy bills to skyrocket due to decreased airflow. In fact, according to the Department of Energy, the average household spends approximately $2,200 a year on its energy bill. Staying on top of air filter maintenance can save you up to 15 percent on utility expenditures.
  1. Air Quality. According to the Environment Protection Agency, the air we breathe inside our homes can be up to five times more polluted than the air we breathe outdoors. This can be particularly alarming if anyone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma. A filter is an important line of defense to keep irritants from circulating in your home.
  1. Prevent Expensive Repairs. By staying up-to-date on filter replacement, you can avoid more expensive repairs related to system parts down the road.

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of routine maintenance, let’s walk through a filter changing tips:

  1. Filter Types. It’s important to use the appropriate filter for your system, as using a filter that doesn’t fit the unit properly can create the same types of problems as a dirty filter. When shopping, look at the MERV number, ranging from 1 to 12. Keep in mind, the higher the number, the better the filtration.
  1. We suggest changing your air filter every month, especially during the winter and summer months when your HVAC system gets the most use here in Iowa. Three months should be the maximum amount of time you go without upgrading to a clean filter, but if your home or family has pets, smokers, allergies or asthma, a working fireplace, construction or participates in outdoor activities, be sure to change your filter monthly. Change your filter immediately if the filter is damaged, damp or shows signs of mold.
  1. Routine Maintenance. A certified technician should service your HVAC system once a year to inspect belts, ductwork and components. This can aid in catching costly repairs before they occur. Take advantage of our Peace of Mind program for two annual visits at a discounted rate to ensure your HVAC system is up and running before the first snow storm or heat wave.

Armed with the knowledge to get the most from your HVAC system year-round, you can feel confident that your furnace is working hard for you and your family this winter. If you have questions or concerns, call Wyckoff Heating & Cooling to schedule your tune-up before the cold winter ahead.

Want to learn more? See if the filter you have is decreasing the life of your furnace?