One of the easiest, most important things you can do to ensure the efficiency of your HVAC system is to routinely replace your air filter. A clogged or dirty filter makes your system work much harder to take air in, which means your system will use more energy and be less effective at cooling your home.
Replacing it regularly with a clean filter could reduce your energy consumption by 5–15%; but there are a number of variables that affect how often you should change your filter.
“It’s simple; change your air filter only if it’s dirty or clogged,” PEC Senior Energy Service Advisor Chris Denison said. He recommends checking your filter each month and replacing it as needed instead of keeping a strict schedule. This may also save you some money. The less you run your HVAC, the longer your filters will last, which multiplies your savings.
“There are two different types of air filters,” Denison explained. “If you have one air filter for an entire house, it’s common to have the filter replaced every six months, but if you have an air filter grille, you might have to replace the filter more often if you have pets or allergies. It just depends on what kind of system you have.”
Denison also mentioned that high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which are said to capture larger particles of dirt, dust, and hair for people prone to allergies, are not always a better option for your system. “The purpose of an air filter is to help your HVAC run smoothly and eliminate particles from the air conditioner’s coils,” Dension explained. “And high micron air filters are denser, which minimizes optimal air flow. You don’t want to ever restrict that in your space.” It’s up to you to determine what to prioritize with your filter.
Check out what else may be impacting your bill and see how you can save more with our energy-saving tips.