Keeping your heating system working as efficiently as possible helps to reduce the cost of running the system. This is true whether your system is a combined heating and cooling system, or one that just provides heat. If your system has a clogged air filter, its efficiency will be affected, and changing the filter will rectify that problem.
In addition, a clogged air filter means the system has to work harder, and this puts extra stress on the parts within the system. That extra stress will reduce the life of the parts. If the system comes under too much stress, it may fail completely, resulting in costly repair fees.
However, changing the air filter is not simply a matter of economics. If your system pumps air through your home, failure to check your air filter’s condition could mean you and other residents are in danger of becoming ill.
The different types of filters used in HVAC or warm air heating systems remove many impurities from the air, improving the air quality in the process. Impure air can carry many pollutants such as pollen and excessive dust, both of which can affect the health of vulnerable people. If the filters are damp, this may lead to the growth of fungi or molds. The spores of these organisms will then be circulated with the air. Inhaling these spores is a known health risk.
You do not need any special skills or tools to check and change your filter. How you do so will depend on the type of equipment you have, but your system manual should show you how to locate the filters and how to change them. Your manual will also tell you how often you should change your filters.
Even if your filter seems to be clean, you should still replace it at the intervals your manufacturer has recommended. You may think that you are saving a few cents by using a filter until it is visibly dirty, but this is a false economy, as you will be actually paying more on fuel used when the system is not running at maximum efficiency.
There are many types of filters available, and you need to replace old ones with the same type. Again, your manual will tell you which ones are recommended for your system. Using the wrong type can damage your system, or cause it to work less efficiently.
If you have any doubts about how to check and change filters, or are unclear about which filters you can use, ask your local HVAC service company. They will be glad to help you. It is very important to have your system checked at least once every year by a service company, and you could ask the service engineer to show you what to do.