HVAC systems have many different components that affect the efficiency of your system, and all of them may accumulate dirt. That’s why we recommend annual tune-ups; they allow our technicians to clean and lubricate the parts. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for a professional to change your air filter. That’s one part of your system that you can safely maintain. Air filters are inexpensive, their location is easily accessible, and changing them is simple. Every environment is different, but changing them every two to three months is a good rule of thumb. If your home is unusually dusty or your pets shed, you might want to change them more often. A clean air filter should have no debris stuck to it and no unusual odor. In this article, we explain why changing your air filters when they are clogged is so important.

1. Improved Airflow

Air passes through the filter before it reaches the motor, coils, fans and ductwork. If the filter is severely clogged, it may impede the airflow to such an extent that your system overheats and shuts down. Hopefully, you’ll change the filter before it reaches that point.

HVAC systems depend on sufficient airflow to maintain the set temperature. The conditioned air flows through the ducts and into a room. If there’s a lower volume of air, the system has to run longer to provide sufficient warming or cooling.

2. Lower Utility Bills

The longer your system runs, the more energy it uses, causing your fuel charges to increase. Whether it’s a gas furnace or an electric air conditioner, you’re going to see the adverse effects of a dirty air filter reflected in your monthly bill.

Try tracking the changes. Put yourself on a regular maintenance schedule, and compare your current utility bills with those from the previous year. If seasonal temperatures were similar in those two years, you should expect to see considerable savings.

3. Fewer Repairs

When a new filter blocks pollutants, your HVAC components stay cleaner. This also means that dirty coils in an air conditioner or a malfunctioning furnace are less likely. A furnace needs oxygen to burn gas, and a blocked air filter may prevent enough air from reaching the pilot light. If the pilot light is out, the furnace won’t run.

Before spending money for a service call, check the air filter if your system won’t start or stops again within a short interval. A dirty filter can cause both of these problems. So, check the filter first, and if it looks fine, then call Belle Air Services and schedule a house call.

A dirty air filter makes the system work longer to keep a room comfortable. This extra run-time increases the wear and tear on your system, which may accelerate the need for replacement parts.

4. Increased Life Span

A clean filter helps your system operate at maximum efficiency. There is less stress on the components, which delays the aging process. However, this is not a substitute for a tune-up. You need regular inspections so the technicians can lubricate the moveable components and fix minor problems before they escalate into major ones.

5. Better Indoor Air Quality

Your air filter is a porous mesh that traps all the particles that aren’t too small to pass through the openings. The filter can’t be so tightly woven that it prevents all contaminants from passing through because that would also block the airflow.

Filter Turned Black

If you look at your furnace air filter and it’s black, that could indicate the presence of carbon monoxide. You should immediately check the levels with a meter, and if it’s positive, turn off the furnace, contact us and open the windows.

Your AC filter may turn black with soot if you have a fireplace, wood-burning stove or use candles. Check your filter often if this is the case. It may turn out that you need to change the filter every month when you use the fireplace and every three months when you don’t.

The filter may also look black if mold is growing on it. Mold needs a moist, dark place to thrive, so if you have condensation near the filter, it is a perfect breeding ground for the spores. If this happens, correct the humidity levels if you can, and check the filter more often than usual.

Improved Respiratory Problems

If you have people with respiratory problems living in your home, clean air filters may make their breathing easier. If the filter traps common irritants such as pollen, dust mites and mold spores, it lessens their exposure. However, an air filter can’t perform magic; we recommend purchasing a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, which traps even smaller contaminants than your traditional HVAC filter.

6. Ductless Air Filters

A mini-split heat pump system consists of an outdoor unit and individual indoor air handlers. Because this type of system doesn’t require a powerful flow of air to travel through ducts, the air handlers incorporate more sophisticated filters. In fact, they may have multiple layers to them, and HEPA filters are standard. If your mini split has a HEPA filter, it is considered medical-grade quality. That means it can capture 99.95% of all the particles in the air, including viruses and bacteria 0.3 microns or larger. Follow your owner’s manual for the proper replacement timeframe.

7. Washable Air Filters

Some HVAC air filters are washable, and the electrostatic ones may offer a lifetime guarantee because they are metal and durable. However, they do need cleaning every two to four weeks to maintain their charge. Rinse them under running water and allow them to dry thoroughly before replacing them. They are suitable for furnaces and air conditioners.

Work With the Professionals

Belle Air Services is known as the premier HVAC contractor in Playa Vista. Our technicians provide expert maintenance, repair and installation services for heating and cooling. Ask us about our Mitsubishi products if you want to switch from a traditional HVAC system to a heat pump. We have mini splits that allow for eight individual zones, and their air handlers have 3D sensors that adjust temperature and airflow based on a room’s occupancy. If you have a room addition or workshop that’s not heated or cooled, one heat pump unit can do both, and it doesn’t need ducts!

At Belle Air Services, we excel in providing indoor air quality improvements. First, we’ll test the air and determine the amount, location and type of contaminants in your home. After that, we can recommend a solution. If you want to lessen the amounts of viruses and bacteria, we can install UV lights in the ducts to kill them. We can also install a whole-house air purifier system that works in conjunction with your HVAC. If you need advice on heating, cooling or air purification in Playa Vista and the surrounding Los Angeles County area, contact Belle Air Services today for quick, reliable service!

company icon