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Why Changing the HVAC Air Filter Is Important

air-conditioning-outdoor-cabinetWith the official start of spring less than a month away, people are thinking about preparing their home for hotter weather. Although here in the Central Valley we’re not quite ready to stop using our heating systems, there are some steps to take now that will help prepare for the seasonal transition. The most important is to schedule your regular maintenance in Madera, CA. Getting on the schedule for the spring maintenance visit at this time of year means you’ll have your air conditioning system inspected, tuned-up, and ready to go when the time comes.

If you haven’t already, contact our team to sign up for our Ultimate Service Agreement, which provides superb maintenance during the year for both your air conditioning and heating system. The benefits you’ll receive thanks to regular maintenance are immense.

Maintenance You Can Do Now: Change the Air Filter

You don’t have to wait for our maintenance technician to show up at your house to get started with some important maintenance steps. Although most inspection and tune-ups tasks can only be handled by a professional, regularly changing the air filter that serves both your furnace and air conditioning system is something you can do yourself—and which you need to do on a regular basis.

To understand why keeping a clean air filter in place is vital, you’ll need to understand why it’s there in the first place. It isn’t to help clean your home’s air. (You’ll need to have our team outfit your HVAC system with dedicated indoor air quality filters or purifiers to do that job.) What the air filter does is protect the interior of the HVAC cabinet and its components from the dust, lint, dander, and other debris that come through the return air ducts. It takes between 1 to 3 months of operation for the filter to develop clogging and need to have a fresh filter put in place. If the clogged filter remains, you could be dealing with these kinds of problems:

  • Increased utility bills: A clogged filter restricts airflow through the return vent, which forces the blower to work harder. This strain raises electrical bills needlessly.
  • Circuit breaker tripping: We covered this in our last post. The additional strain on the blower motor from a clogged filter is the leading cause of a furnace or AC tripping the circuit breaker and shutting down the entire system.
  • Overheated furnace: A congested filter will trap heat inside a furnace, which can cause it to overheat and trigger the furnace limit switch, shutting the heating system down.
  • Damaged components: When a filter is clogged, it will start to stretch and distort against the force of the airflow. This allows dust and debris to get around the edges and get into the furnace and air conditioner, damaging motors and refrigerant coils. (In extreme cases, the filter may even collapse into the blower itself.)

Check your filter now if you haven’t done it in a few months: it probably needs a replacement. Then contact us and arrange for a convenient time to have your spring maintenance inspection and tune-up.

Since 1952, Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning has served Madera, CA and the rest of the Central Valley.

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