The air filter in your home or car is an essential component that helps keep the air clean and your system running smoothly. But what happens if you don't get your air filter replaced? The consequences can be costly and even dangerous. A dirty filter reduces airflow to your HVAC system and makes it work harder, using more energy and costing you more money. You may also be unable to keep your home at the right temperature, making the system difficult to manage.
If the air filter is clogged and can't trap contaminants like it used to, those things can go back to the air that everyone in your home breathes. This can cause immediate problems such as headaches, itchy eyes or throat, and dizziness. If the air filters are not changed and problems persist, the long-term effects could be respiratory disease, heart disease, or cancer. In cars, the air filter helps keep the air clean by trapping dirt, debris, and other harmful contaminants before they enter your cabin.
Without the air filter, all of that would enter the combustion chamber of your engine. This can cause a number of problems, such as a drop in power, a decrease in fuel efficiency and a difficulty starting the vehicle. There is also a risk of permanent damage, including engine failure. It's important to change your air filter regularly to avoid these issues.
The owner's manual should give you a more accurate estimate of exactly when your vehicle needs a new air filter. If you've never changed your air conditioning filter, the easiest way is to have an HVAC technician do it the first time. They can show you where the filter is, how to access it, and what needs to be done to clean or replace it. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends changing your air filter every three months for optimal performance. The more people who live under your roof, the more often you'll need to change your air filter, so be sure to check it often.
Failing to replace your air filter can cause a number of problems with your HVAC system. It can cause the entire system to overwork and eventually break down. Frozen evaporator coils that result from a clogged air filter can also cause the air conditioner to break down. There are high-efficiency filters that are designed to filter out small bacterial, mold, and fungal particles, but your standard MERV 8-11 filters will simply block out larger particles of dust, dirt & hair.
It's important to note that not changing your air filter on a regular basis can have serious consequences for both your health and your wallet.