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What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Air Filters?

The air filters in your home are supposed to keep the dirt and dust from flying through the air in your home and into your lungs. While some of the benefits of an air filter are obvious, what happens when air filters aren’t cleaned and changed properly? Cates Heating and Cooling is here to help you find out.

Dirty System and Air

If your air filter is dirty, that means every point after the filter is dirty, too. Not only will your air ducts and blower fans be full of dirt, dust, and other gunk, but those things will also end up in the air that you and your family are breathing every day. The dust and allergens in the air can lead to illnesses like asthma or other symptoms like fatigue and headaches.

In addition, that dust and dirt settles on the surfaces in your home, making your whole home dirtier. You may notice that countertops, floors, and furniture have a layer of grime on them or that they require frequent cleaning to prevent dirt buildup.

Dust and dirt aren’t the only things that end up in your air filter. Mold and mildew are generally caught by your air filter, but when the filter is failing, these particles can end up in your house. Mold and mildew are notorious for causing bad odors, damage to your home, and even illnesses.

Air Flow Problems

When gunk clogs up your air filter, less air can pass through the filter and into your home. Your air conditioning unit is designed to work with a certain amount of airflow, and when that isn’t met, your system may malfunction or break down.

Plus, air flow problems will cause it to take a longer time to heat and cool your home. Your unit will run for a longer amount of time to heat or cool your home to a specific temperature with a dirty air filter than it would with a clean one. You may also not notice that the air is running, because so little air is actually making it into each room of your home. Stagnant air can cause damage to your home, especially if there is moisture trapped in the air. It can also just be uncomfortable to live in.

Efficiency Problems

Dirt and dust can get into the cooling coils and allow for frost build-up on the coils and fans. This frost makes it hard for your air conditioning to cool your home, which increases the amount of energy it takes to run your unit. Efficiency problems such as cooling inefficiency and reduced airflow cause your unit to work harder to cool your home. It also means that you are spending more money on your energy bills each month.

Changing an Air Filter

Fortunately, changing an air filter is an easy process, and it just takes a few minutes. Here’s how you can replace your air filter:

  1. Find a filter that is the correct size for your system.
  2. Turn off the system to prevent electric shock and polluted air from passing through the system.
  3. Carefully remove the old filter making sure to not drop the dust collected in the filter.
  4. Wipe down the filter area and all surrounding equipment surfaces with a cloth or paper towel.
  5. Put the new filter in place by following the direction of the arrows on the filter and the air filter frame.

If you have a reusable air filter, you can remove the filter to clean it while not running the HVAC system in your home. To clean your air filter, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the system.
  2. Carefully remove the dirty filter.
  3. Clean the filter frame and surrounding equipment with a paper towel or cloth.
  4. Rinse the filter using a hose.
  5. Soak the filter or scrub it with a solution of water and vinegar to get rid of bacteria.
  6. Set the filter out to dry.
  7. Once dry, put the filter back in place and turn on your unit.

Air filters should be changed every month. High-quality filters may only need to be replaced every three months. For people with pets or a large family, you may want to change the filter more often than recommended. If someone in your home has severe allergies or asthma, changing the air filter more frequently may be necessary to keep everyone in your house safe and healthy.

Make the air in your home cleaner and safer for your family right away with a new air filter. To have a new air filtration system put in your home, call Cates Heating and Cooling today at 913-888-4470.

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