Dirty filters can cause many problems with heating and cooling equipment. Countless repair calls would have been prevented if the homeowner just changed the filter regularly. (Does this remind you of the flossing discussion that you have with your dentist?) When you select the wrong air filter, or it doesn’t fit well or it gets too dirty, dirt escapes the filter. The next stop for this dirt is sensitive, expensive components in your home’s heating and cooling system — really bad news for your repair budget and energy bills. The cooling coil can begin to work as a filter itself and dirt piles up on the coil both blocking air flow reducing efficiency. It’s like the old TV commercials for Fram automobile oil filters: “Pay me now or pay me later.”
In addition, uninformed homeowners can choose the wrong filter, installing one that is too restrictive. This can be a problem with even some big name filters. Air needs to move freely through the system while being filtered of as many particles as possible.
So we all know we need to keep clean filters in our HVAC equipment. The problem is actually replacing the filters! The number one reason homeowners don’t change their filter regularly is that a new replacement filter is not already available for them to install. Your heating and cooling technician can help you determine how often you should be replacing your filter and exactly what kind of filter you need to use. Make note of the size and description for when you go to the hardware store. Better yet, have them order a few ahead for you so that they are ready and waiting when the time comes.
The second piece of the puzzle is being reminded that it’s time to replace the filter. Whether you program your smart phone to remind you or just write it on the calendar, take the time now to note the filter changes for the rest of this year. Another option is to take advantage of a filter reminder service. P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling offers a free email reminder service for anyone in the greater Cleveland area wishing to do a better job with filter changes.
Kim Nemecek is a marketing professional with P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. After growing up in Cleveland, she lived in Florida for many years, working at an air conditioning company there. Kim has four grown children, two grandchildren and two spoiled dogs. She lives in Solon with her husband, Todd.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.