Dirty filters in your heating and air conditioning unit can diminish the efficiency of the system, lessen the air quality in your home, and increase your energy bill. The most common cause of malfunctioning heating and cooling units is due to dirty filters. As dirt and dust accumulate on a filter, air cannot pass through, which can eventually cause the system to overheat. By regularly replacing the filter on your heating and cooling system, you can extend the life of it for many years.
Dirty air filters can also make for higher energy costs. Because it is difficult for air to pass through a dirty filter, more energy is being used to make it happen. According to the Department of Energy, you can save 5 to 15 percent per year on your utility costs by routinely changing your filter.
Further, keeping clean filters in your heating and cooling system ensures healthy air in your home. This is especially important if you have family members with allergies or pets in your home, as dust, dirt, and pet dander will accumulate in the system and can spread throughout your home.
ENERGY STAR reports that you should change your air filter monthly, especially during the winter and summer when your system is used most. When choosing a quality air filter, look at the MERV number (minimum efficiency reporting value). This ranges from 1 to 12 - the higher the number, the better the filtration is.
Watch the video below for instructions on changing air filters in your home.