The long-term effect of not changing your HVAC filter is the eventual breakdown of your unit. However, before that happens, your system will get clogged by dirt and dust from outside.
A dirty air conditioning unit is inefficient because it uses a lot of power and energy to run. Before your HVAC breaks down, you will first experience high energy bills and a poorly functioning unit. These are all warning signs that you should replace your filters.
If you do not take any action, the system will continue malfunctioning and eventually break down. So, instead of waiting to see what happens if you don’t change your air filter for long, the best thing is to replace it.
When should you change your HVAC filters?
Manufacturers give guidelines on how often you should change a central air filter. However, the frequency will depend on factors such as the size of your home, lifestyle, and whether you have any pets with far around.
For homes with more than two pets, it is advisable to change the filters at least every 45 days. Homes with only one pet can push the days more and change the filters every 60 days.
In households with no pets, changing the air filters every 90 days is recommended. In case you are not sure about the frequency, check the manufacturer manual for instructions.
How to know when to change the HVAC filter
The sure way to know when to change dirty air filters is to check the manufacturer’s guidelines. However, there are times when your HVAC will exhibit warning signs that the filters are due for a change. Do not ignore these signs because it shows that your air filters are already overworking.
Fortunately, most of modern HVAC units have innovative technology that will help you know when to replace them. You will see a red indicator light that shows the filters are due for a change. If you still have the old models, there are some indicative signs that might warn you that your filters are getting dirty.
Here are some signs to look out for:
Tops Signs that your HVAC Filter Needs Replacement
- Warm air coming out of the unit
When sitting very close to your AC, you might notice warm air coming out of the unit. The air will be coming from the back of the unit, and when you touch it, you will feel the heat.
This happens because the unit is working extra hard, thus producing a lot of heat. This is a clear indication that the air filters are clogged and need to be replaced as soon as possible.
- Unit is not cooling the home
The work of an air conditioning unit is to keep the home cool. In normal circumstances, it should cool the space without any issue.
However, once you start noticing that the HVAC is not cooling the home as it is supposed to, then you might need to replace the filters. This might be a sign that your air filters are blocked and are not able to pass cool air.
- High energy bills
If you notice your energy bills have significantly increased with no explanation, the culprit might be your HVAC. And the reason for high energy bills is that your system is working extra hard to cool your home. All this might be a result of clogged air filters.
- Physical signs of dust
You will notice some dust around the HVAC unit or in your home if you don’t change the central air filter. It means that dust is spreading from your clogged air filters to different parts of the home.
Depending on the type of HVAC unit that you have, sometimes it is possible to peep inside and see whether your filters are dirty or not.
Respiratory allergies are caused by dust and allergens in the home. If your air filters are dirty, they will spread dust in the home.
Some of the physical signs might include sneezing, coughing, or wheezing among the family members. All these signs are caused by dust from the air filters spreading into the home.
What happens if you don’t change HVAC Filters?
Here is what happens if you don’t change your AC filter;
- Furnace damage
The danger of not changing the air filter in the house for a long time is that it will eventually lead to furnace damage. This means that the entire system will get destroyed by the excess heat.
Replacing the entire system can cost you enormous amounts of money, and it’s almost the same as buying a new HVAC unit. Remember, replacing air filters costs under 50 dollars, so do not allow delay and negligence to cost you thousands of dollars.
- Evaporator coils damage
Evaporative coils are responsible for removing heat to keep your home cool. If you do not replace your air filters for a long time, you will eventually experience evaporator coils failure.
Replacing these coils can be an expensive affair because they are quite important in the workings of your air conditioning unit.
- Regular breakdown
If you do not replace your filters, you are likely to experience regular breakdowns. Repairing your unit all the time is inconvenient and costly.
Do you need to call a technician for an HVAC filter change?
You do not need to call a technician for an air conditioner filter change. Most of the filters are located in areas that can be accessed easily, and all you need is to remove the old one and put in a new one.
However, some old models have air filters inside, and you might need to have the right tools to replace the filters. If you are finding it difficult to replace your air filters, do not attempt to do it on your own, as you might cause more damage. It is advisable to call a technician to do it for you.
When replacing the filters, make sure that you choose the right size. Filters are available depending on the model number, so you need to be careful to pick the right one.
Putting a filter that is too small for your HVAC can be detrimental because it will allow dirt and dust in your unit. Make sure that you install the right size of the filter, and you also put it correctly. This will ensure that it does its work of trapping the dirt.