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Why You Should Care About Air Filters

We all have them. We may or may not know why we have them or why we replace them. Conventional wisdom is that we should change them monthly. If we buy them, we usually buy them from a big-box store or use what someone gives us. The particularly ambitious will do some research online before buying them. What am I talking about? Air Filters.

BORING.

Well, maybe not so much. Air filters perform a couple of vital functions in your home and can be the cause of HVAC failures – decreasing your comfort and costing you money.

First, let’s consider the two general benefits of air filters. Arguably the most important job basic air filters have is to protect your investment. Your HVAC system is likely one of the two most expensive assets in your home – following only your furniture and maybe jewelry. Air filters prevent debris from being sucked through your system and damaging the vital working parts. They also limit the dust and dander of everyday life from coating the inside of the equipment.

An air filter’s other major function is to improve your indoor air quality. Filters screen and trap the dust and dander present in our homes and in the air we breathe. How well different air filters perform this task will be the subject of another article, but even the most basic air filters provide some degree of air filtration.

These are the good things air filters are designed to do. But, when not installed or used properly, air filters can also damage your equipment or cause operating failures. Any heating and cooling system requires air flow to operate correctly. More importantly, every specific HVAC system is designed and installed to move a specific amount of air at a certain rate. Your filter helps maintain that proper flow of air.

Incorrectly sized or poorly installed filters can dislodge, disrupting airflow or even becoming the debris that is sucked through your system. This problem seems obvious but happens more often than you may assume. Air filter caused operating failures – when your unit does not heat or cool properly leading you to call your service company – are most often the result of clogged filters. Think of a clogged filter like a clogged artery that places the heart under stress, leading to a heart attack. A clogged filter can disrupt air flow enough to cause a failure – a frozen evaporator coil; a failed blower motor; liquid refrigerant damage to a compressor. Changing out clogged filters is like eating fruits and vegetables to keep your arteries clear!

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A properly designed and installed heating and air conditioning system is well balanced – air flow and refrigerant working together to regulate temperature, humidity, and air quality. Your air filter is vital to maintaining and refining this balance. Who knew a filter could do so much!

Please contact Zephyr Environmental Solutions, Inc. if you have any questions about your air filters or how to maintain optimal air flow within your system – we’re here to help!