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Do I Need to Change My HVAC System’s Air Filter Only Once a Year?

There are many misconceptions, misunderstandings, and myths (the three “M”s) when it comes to home heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Unfortunately, the Internet and the rapid swap of bad information through social media, mostly from “that guy” on your Facebook feed, continues to spread these three “M”s, and it’s difficult for knowledgeable people in the industry to squash them.

We’ll tackle one of the more common myths about HVAC in this post, because it’s extremely important for your home’s comfort and energy efficiency that you know the truth.

The air filter in your HVAC system must be changed regularly throughout the year

Put away the idea that the air filter connected to your air conditioning and heating system only needs to be changed once a year (or, in the case of a permanent filter, cleaned once year). The filter is a key part of how your HVAC system operates: it protects the inside cabinet that contains the AC and the furnace (or the heat pump if you use that instead of two separate systems) from debris that enters through the return air vents. The filter traps dust, dirt, lint, and other contaminants that might damage the internal components.

It only takes a month of regular work from an AC or a heater to completely clog the filter. When that happens, the comfort system will experience a higher strain as it tries to draw air through the thick clogging. This will cause a steep rise in energy bills, a drop in airflow from the system, and can eventually lead to serious damage to the air conditioner and heater. For example, low air flow through the filter can cause the coil of an air conditioner or heat pump to freeze over.

Every month that you use your AC or heater on the majority of days, you should change the filter. During slower periods, such as spring and fall, when the HVAC system works sporadically, change the filter every three months. But don’t make it only an annual or bi-annual event that happens during regularly scheduled maintenance.

For help with all your heating and cooling needs, call on the Doctor of Home Comfort: Hall’s Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration. We serve Bossier, LA and the surrounding areas.

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