Signs You Need to Change Your Air Filter Right Away

May 21, 2015

It's easy to forget about the air filter, but this important HVAC component traps dust and dirt that could damage heating and cooling equipment if allowed to pass through. If you choose the right filter, running the furnace or air conditioner could even improve indoor air quality by trapping minuscule airborne pollutants in their path. Of course, it's essential to change the air filter regularly to prevent built-up debris from restricting airflow and overworking your HVAC equipment. The rule of thumb is to check your filter monthly and change it when it appears dirty or at most every three months. If you can't remember the last time you changed the air filter, here are the top signs you need to change it right away:
  • Damaged filter - Air filters must be in good condition to work properly. They can become damaged in the packaging or during rough installation, causing fins to bend and cells or holes to collapse. If air can bypass the filter, it loses its ability to effectively catch airborne debris and should be replaced.
  • Wet filter - Moisture intrusion, condensation or even high indoor humidity can dampen air filters. Within a mere 24 to 48 hours, mold can start to grow. If you check the filter and it's damp to the touch, replace it, regardless of how clogged the filter is. Track down the source of moisture with the help of an HVAC technician to prevent the filter from getting wet again.
  • Moldy filter - If mold grows on the air filter, not only could it harm the HVAC system, but it will circulate spores throughout your home and threaten your family's health. You can usually detect a moldy filter simply by the musty smell it spreads through the air. Again, it's important to hire a technician to help pinpoint the mold source and prevent a recurrence.
A clean air filter means better indoor air quality and a more efficient HVAC system. For more help with changing the air filter, or to schedule assistance from a qualified technician, contact Lozier Heating & Cooling. We've served Des Moines area residents since 1906. Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: "Yuriy Vlasenko/Shutterstock"