According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the levels of air pollutants are typically two to five times higher indoors than they are outside. The same agency also reports that the average American now spends roughly 90% of their time indoors.

There’s a simple conclusion to draw from this information: You should do everything you can to make certain you’re breathing the cleanest air possible while you’re at home. Being diligent about regularly replacing your HVAC unit’s air filters is one of the best ways to go about this!

But enjoying greater comfort and respiratory health isn’t the only benefit to regularly checking and changing your air filters. You will also pay less for electricity and HVAC maintenance, and also rest assured that you’ll have heating and air conditioning when you most need them. Let’s examine all four primary benefits of being “filter smart” in greater detail!

 

You Will Breathe Cleaner Air

The average home collects 40 pounds of dust every year. There may be as many as half a million microscopic dust mites per ounce of dust! But dust and the horrible things that live inside it aren’t the only airborne contaminants which air filters prevent from circulating throughout your home! Airborne contaminants also include:

  • Dirt
  • Lint
  • Pollen
  • Smoke
  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Pesticides
  • Pet dander
  • Hair particles
  • Formaldehyde
  • Dust mite feces
  • Cleaning solvents
  • Mold and mold spores
  • Volatile organic compounds

An HVAC unit’s air filters are effective at trapping all of these things which you would rather not have inside your sensitive lungs. And while the science is not conclusive, several studies do suggest that regularly replacing your home’s air filters can help to alleviate symptoms of hay fever, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

 

You Will Pay Lower Heating and Cooling Costs

Your HVAC unit must work harder once its filters become coated and embedded with dust and other debris. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, clogged filters force HVAC units to consume 15% more energy. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average monthly electricity bill for a home in South Dakota is $120.60 (in 2021). All of this is to say that dirty air filters may cost you $18 more per month in electricity usage – or $216 per year. There’s little sense in paying so much more when a six-pack of air filters costs about $40!

 

Your HVAC Unit Will Last Longer

Dirty air filters become increasingly ineffective at their job. They permit dust and debris to enter your HVAC unit’s delicate inner workings, where they will gum them up and eventually grind the entire machine to a halt. Because dirty filters are less penetrable to air, they force your unit’s fan motor to work harder to circulate air. That accelerates the rate at which the not inexpensive part wears out. Furthermore, old air filters begin to release their own fibers into the sensitive machinery they are designed to protect. Such coarse strands are just as well equipped to damage moving parts as dust itself!

 

Your HVAC Unit Will Be More Reliable

This is a corollary to the above benefit to diligently replacing your air filters. You don’t want your HVAC unit to break, and we have Murphy’s law to thank for the fact that your system is most likely to fail on either the hottest or the coldest day of the year – or Christmas morning, if the gremlins are feeling especially wicked on that day. While HVAC failure is always a possibility, you will enjoy the greatest peace of mind if you perform the regular maintenance your system requires to run at peak efficiency.

 

How Often Should You Replace Your HVAC’s Air Filters?

That’s exactly the question you should be asking yourself at this point. The answer depends on the quality of the air filters you purchase. According to US Home Filter, inexpensive fiberglass filters require replacement every 30 days; high-end HEPA filters, on the other hand, can last for as long as six months!

But if your home has shedding pets or young children, either of which can create more debris that will become lodged within air filters, then you may want to change your filters more often. Furthermore, people who suffer from asthma or other respiratory conditions may note lesser symptoms when their HVAC unit’s filters are changed more frequently.

Do you need an HVAC professional in the greater Sioux Falls, SD area? Then we welcome you to contact our team at Haugan Heating and Air Conditioning today! We provide free estimates for residential and commercial HVAC maintenance and repairs, as well as high-tech yet affordable air purification solutions that will have you breathing even easier than regular air filter replacement alone could ever manage.