We all know we have to do it, but changing the air filters in your home is one of those tasks that we all tend to put off. Here’s why you shouldn’t:

Your health: The air quality inside your home may be affecting your health and the health of your family. If the filters are clogged and dirty, air can bypass the filter or push pollutants and irritants through the system.

As a result, the bad air can trigger coughing, chest tightness, sore throat, watery or itchy eyes, shortness of breath, and even an asthma attack. Over a period of time, the issues can compound, resulting in frequent headaches, long lasting colds, and bronchitis, as well as chronic asthma.

Cleanliness: The air that is forced through a clogged filter, bringing with it dirt particles, ends up as dust on your coffee table, book shelves, and blinds. By not changing the air filters regularly, you’re actually making more work for yourself because you have to dust and vacuum more frequently. A clean air filter captures that dust before it ends up where you don’t want it- anywhere other than the filter!

Wear and tear: A clogged filter slows the air down and can lead to an iced-up evaporator coil or cause the system to overheat. It can also lower the heat-exchange rate, meaning that your system will have to work harder to cool or heat your home.

Over time, this takes a toll on the system, and the evaporator and/or the condenser may eventually break down, leading to a costly and avoidable repair.

Your electric bill: If air flow has slowed down, it stands to reason that the HVAC system will have to run longer to cool your home. You may actually find yourself adjusting the temperature, compounding the problem.

That usually means higher electricity bills. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), replacing or cleaning your air conditioner’s filters is the most important thing you can do to ensure the unit’s efficiency. The agency further states that replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 to 10 percent.

So, how often do you need to change your air filters to maintain maximum efficiency? The EPA suggests cleaning or replacing your filters “every month or two during the cooling season,” but it notes that more frequent attention might be necessary if the unit is in constant use or if you have a pet that sheds.

Not sure if your filter needs to be replaced after one month or can go for a few more weeks? Remove it from the return (the vent) and hold it up to a good source of light. If you can see through the filter, it’s clean; if you can’t, it’s dirty and needs to be either cleaned or replaced.

Feel free to reach out to us via the form below or give me a call to chat about other ways to keep your home energy efficient while living in Scottsdale.

Don Matheson
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255