What Are The Consequences of Dirty Air Filters?

There’s a bit going on lately. Maybe you haven’t been too focused on your home’s air filter. And who would blame you? Luckily, there are some pretty straightforward ways to spot a dirty air filter and determine when you need to replace it.

How can I tell it’s time to replace my home’s air filter?

What to look for:

  • Excessive dirt and or dust at home
  • Appearance, or worsening, of allergy symptoms like itchy eyes, runny nose, and general irritation
  • The furnace or A/C unit kicks on more than normal
  • A spike in your utility bills

One of the most obvious indicators your air filter is dirty is that everywhere is… dirty.  Whether you’re heating or cooling your home, the air that comes through your vents will be dustier and dirtier if your filter is too clogged and dirty to do its job. You might find yourself dusting all the time but still seeing particles everywhere, or you may notice allergy symptoms either increase or start for people at home.  You might also keep hearing the a/c unit or furnace kick on, to the point where it’s distracting. And if you recently got a higher than average energy bill, it’s a good time to have a look at your air filter.

What Does A Dirty Air Filter Look Like?

Yes. Generally, it’s pretty easy to tell on sight if your air filter is ready to be replaced — if you’re seeing a noticeable gray color, or debris, dust, or other build up on the filter then it’s time for a new one.

The Impact of Dirty Air Filters

HVAC Issues of dirty air filters

Dirty air filters are often the biggest contributor to HVAC system failure. They can cause both your heater and air conditioner to work overtime to compensate for proper airflow, which will generally be noticeable in a higher utility bill every month.  This can also manifest in short cycling, which is what happens when your air conditioner or heater has to increase the timing between its cycles to keep up with the air temperature.  Causing problems all year long, dirty filters also often lead to early burnout for your furnace, air conditioner, or both.

Health Issues of dirty air filters

Dirty air filters can exacerbate existing respiratory problems like asthma and allergies. Because the air filter traps and collects dust, pollen, debris, and even mold, if it’s been a long time since you’ve changed the filter, all those contaminants can circulate through your home like the greatest hits of irritating allergens. Dirty air filters in dry climates and homes with pets especially affect home indoor air quality

Have more questions about your home’s air filter or other HVAC issues? Visit our resource center to find more information about everything HVAC and more, or call our professionals at (619) 762-30144 today to see how we can help.

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