Everyone wants to save energy, but it can seem like a perplexing task when heating and cooling bills are always consistently high. Surprisingly to many people, there's just one all-important, yet simple care tip for improving HVAC system efficiency and performance. Have you checked your HVAC air filter recently?
Forced-air HVAC systems, such as the furnace, A/C and heat pump, must have free airflow to perform efficiently. Free airflow is needed to instigate heat exchange in a heat pump and an A/C. This airflow also prevents furnaces from overheating, shutting down and potentially damaging components.
The primary role of the filter is to protect any HVAC equipment that drives efficiency, lowers energy bills and reduces component failures. The secondary role of the filter is to enhance indoor air quality. The density, design and materials used can determine a filter’s ability to capture airborne contaminants, while the filter's efficiency depends largely on regular changing and cleaning by the homeowner.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a clogged filter can increase HVAC energy consumption by up to 15 percent. Because HVAC components account for about half of your energy bills, a clogged filter can be very expensive.
Clogged filters do more than just increase energy bills. A clogged filter can create a substantial pressure drop across the blower. This makes the blower motor work harder, immediately impacting the efficiency of the actual part. With a lack of airflow through the furnace, A/Cs and heat pumps may struggle to provide enough air conditioning. Furthermore, the A/C or heat pump evaporator coil might accumulate ice during the cooling months, which can subsequently cause drainage problems inside the home and stress electrical parts.
If you haven't checked your filter lately, make it a priority. Moreover, make sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for filter care and changing.
At Sobieski Services, Inc. our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues - especially HVAC and plumbing issues - so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.