Poor maintenance of your HVAC system can lead to many hassles for a homeowner. A dirty air filter can affect your family’s respiratory health, circulate mold spores inside your home, affect your thermostat, burn out (technically “freeze up”) your AC unit, which can result in extremely costly repairs. The most technical system to operate in a house is the heat and air system, which is why maintenance such as having your evaporator coil cleaned should be a priority for overall maintenance of your home. Here are some tips and reasons for maximizing your AC unit’s efficiency during these high-pollen, high-humidity summer months:
1. Your Family’s Respiratory Health
In this part of the country, we experience high levels of pollen during the summer. When this much pollen is moving through dirty air filters in your home, results can be harmful to your family’s respiratory health. Dirty air filters can lead to development of asthma and respiratory tract infections. A good rule of thumb for remembering to change out your air filters on a monthly basis is when you pay your utility bill, go ahead and change out your filter at the same time.
If you have pets – especially cats – you should really make sure you keep up with changing your air filters regularly. Pet hair and pet dander not only shed on your couches and floors, they get into the air and clog up your filters much faster than the homes of those who do not have pets.
Poor indoor air quality can lead to indoor mold growth. When air filters are dirty, and clean air is unable to pass through, mold spores can begin growing (therefore building up) inside of your house’s ductwork. From here, the spores make their way through your entire home by circulating with the indoor airflow.
On an annual basis, get your indoor coil, aka evaporator coil, cleaned – doing so will also dehumidify your home. In Knoxville, especially, we experience very damp weather. Did you know that if you have dehumidifiers in your home, dirty air filters can negatively effect their performance?
5. Less Cleaning
Clean air filters keep dust off the evaporator coil, which helps keep dust out of the entire system, reducing the amount of dust inside of your home, which means less cleaning!
6. A Thicker Air Filter Can Actually Have Adverse Affects
People often purchase expensive, thick air filters for their homes thinking that will lead to better air quality indoors. But if your air filter is too thick, it can have adverse affects – it can actually choke up the system.
7. Which Brands of Air Filters Are the Most Effective?
In Knoxville, the general consensus from local HVAC companies is that Honeywell and Trane Clean Effects air filters are the best in quality for homeowners. Trane makes high-efficiency air filters and claims to eliminate 98% of air particles in the home.
8. Energy Efficiency Saves You Money
Save yourself from experiencing high maintenance costs while receiving rebates and savings for running your AC unit at maximum efficiency by scheduling annual maintenance check-ups. The money you invest in annually cleaning your evaporator coil ends up paying for itself in a year’s worth of utility costs. Check out 2escore.com – a service by TVA. eScore is a residential energy efficiency program. What is your eScore? A 10 eScore makes you eligible for rebates from maintaining your HVAC system via TVA for having an energy efficient home, which can save you a lot of money. This goes for any homeowner in Knoxville, TN as of November of 2014. Thanks TVA! (By the way, TVA offers rebates for maintenance of several other systems in your house as well via your eScore!)
9. Preventing Large-Scale Damages
If you let your air filters become too clogged, you will burn out your AC unit (although ironically worded, the unit will literally “freeze up”). Dirty air filters can result in damage to your unit because they cause the unit to have to work too hard. If there is not proper airflow in the system, your unit will act like it is low on charge. Change out your air filters regularly to prevent costly repairs and service calls. If you are unsure of whether your filter needs to be changed or not, a good rule of thumb is if you can still see light through your air filter, you can use it for just a little bit longer. But again, do not let it clog up – make a trip to pick up new air filters soon!
10. Beyond Air Filters
Air filters and indoor air quality are not necessarily correlated. Filters can only catch so much, so once a year, schedule an appointment to have your evaporator coil cleaned for cooling season – preferably just before the summer months kick in so that you will be cool inside as soon as it starts getting hot outside! (The same tip goes for heat maintenance.) It is extremely important to keep up with the maintenance of your entire AC unit for maximum efficiency. According to Energy Star, “They typical home loses 20%-40% of the conditioned air in the ductwork.” Routine maintenance of your AC unit will lead to a healthier home and save you a lot of money in the long-run, not to mention it contributes to conscious living on our planet!