The Major Consequences of Not Changing the Air Filter

HVAC systems have a life expectancy of around 10 to 30 years depending on whether you're dealing with an air conditioner, heat pump or furnace. Most homeowners can expect 10 to 20 as the sweet spot for a modern system.

How long the unit ultimately lasts will depend on upkeep, and one of the most helpful things you can do in this regard is to replace the filters regularly. In the following article, we'll be talking about what happens when you don't maintain your system.

1. Higher Energy Costs

Not replacing your HVAC filters regularly is going to increase the cost of your energy bills. That's because the unit has to work longer and harder to maintain the preferred temperature that you would like for your home.

A good sign that it's time to replace the filter is comparing your energy bills and behaviours from month-to-month. If you've noticed a 10 percent increase in your bill under the same usage patterns and temperatures, switch it out.

2. More Costly Repairs

HVAC maintenance, especially during the standard life-expectancy years of the unit, is pretty reasonable in terms of costs.

However, failing to change out your filters can lead to all kinds of internal problems with the unit. Here are some of the most common.

  • Frozen coils
  • Weird noises
  • Fuse failure
  • Tripping the breaker
  • Dirt buildup on your condenser

Each one of these repairs might lead to hundreds of dollars in HVAC technician visits. All are avoidable if you just switch out the filter from month-to-month.

3. Health Issues

Any HVAC contractor will tell you; dirty filters can lead to particles in the air that cause allergies and irritation. That's because the air quality of the home is regulated by the HVAC unit.

Homeowners who fail to regularly switch out their filters might experience health complications as a result of their forgetfulness. Common ailments include allergy irritation and respiratory challenges.

Keep in mind, too, that we now live in the age of COVID-19. A properly functioning unit could be a huge ally in preventing the spread of diseases that are given to airborne transmission.

4. Other Home Damages

HVAC units that aren't properly cared for through regular filter replacement can experience moisture and dirt collection that lead to mechanical wear-and-tear as well as moisture buildup. Issues like these may not stay within the unit.

In other words, they can spread to other parts of the home. This could lead to issues that take thousands of dollars to fix, such as mould removal.

5. Ultimate Failure of the Unit

Lastly, routine mishandling of filter replacement can ultimately cause the unit to fail before its time. When you consider the cost of replacing a unit is between $5,000 and $10,000 (maybe more, depending on the unit), that's a pretty needless expense. This is especially true when you consider that replacing a filter each month costs less than $50 per year.

HVAC Systems Go Further on Clean Filters

The bottom line is that HVAC systems perform better and last longer if they are properly managed. It's up to you as the homeowner to stay tuned in to your unit and take action if you notice any issues with rising costs, air quality, or overall unit behaviour.

Do you suspect you're having issues with your air conditioning unit or furnace that go beyond filters? Maybe you need your unit diagnosed or replaced? Contact Clement Marchand today for a free quote and inspection of your HVAC system in Ottawa.


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