Here in the South, summer brings a bittersweet time for its inhabitants. On the one hand, school is out, the days are longer, water activities are in full swing, and snow cones replace hot chocolate. But, on the other hand – it is HOT. Baton Rouge is no stranger to the heat, and most people’s solution is to keep their AC in high gear to get a reprieve from the humid mess outside. But even the most seasoned southerners often forget how important it is to change their air filters out every one to two months.
Changing your air filter can help reduce the costs of running your AC. As air passes through, bits of pollen, dust, dirt, and pet dander accumulate onto the filter and, over time, become densely packed enough to impede the flow of air. This blockage leaves your HVAC system working harder than it needs to and using more energy, which your electricity bill will unfortunately reflect. The more strain put on your system, the shorter its lifespan and higher the probability of having to replace it.
A dirty air filter also means a more polluted home. This pollution is because the tiny particles that would typically flow through the filter will start to settle on surfaces within your home—leaving you to wipe and dust more often than you should and adding to your chore load.
Not changing your filter can also harm you and your family’s health. The materials obstructing the filter can collect moisture which can encourage mold and bacteria to grow. Once in the HVAC system, the mold and bacteria can be circulated, and you and your family would be breathing in these harmful particles.
You should change your air filter every 4-8 weeks. Four weeks is ideal for maintaining a healthy living environment and HVAC system if you live in an area with an abundance of pollen or have pets. Changing your air filter is relatively inexpensive. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to do it either. There are all different types and sizes of filters, so check your unit for the specifics of your HVAC’s needs.