One of the most important parts of your home heating and cooling system is the filter. If you aren’t diligently taking care of this component, you aren’t getting optimal value and benefits from this equipment. Following is what to know about air conditioner and furnace filters.

Many older models have filtration systems that must be regularly replaced. These simple and low-cost units are taken out and placed in a suitable trash receptacle for pick-up. Homeowners can find replacement filter options at their local hardware and home stores at a fairly nominal price points. In fact, many sellers sell these items in mutli-packs so that buyers have a few spare ones on hand.

As your heating and cooling system circulates air throughout the home, it picks up a number of particulates. Dirt, dust, pollen and other airborne debris is then collected in the filter so that the air is essentially purified. This allows home residents to breathe easier. When you pull an old filter out, you will see a nice, dark grey collection of lint all throughout its mesh that looks a lot like the accumulations of gunk that are present in the filter of your vacuum.

People who have allergies, asthma or any other serious or chronic respiratory condition need to be extra careful about this part of HVAC maintenance. If homeowners are not diligent in this area of maintenance, airborne particles can start to have a negative impact on human health. A dirty filter that needs to be replaced will not be as effective at straining out airborne particulates as one that is brand new.

It is also vital to note that these systems will start to work a lot harder when filtration systems are not maintained. All of the air that is being circulated will have to move through a clogged barrier. Not emptying out your vacuum properly will cause it to overheat. This same is true of your AC system. It will also increase the amount of energy that must be used during the process of restoring the home to a comfortable temperature.

Some of the latest options in these components are not designed to be removed and replaced. This is an effort on the part of manufacturers to limit the use of non-sustainable resources in their products. As a result, consumers can simply take these units out and wash them with warm water and mild soapy solutions. This also eliminates the need to dash off to the store each time this component needs cleaned. Simply take it out, wash it off and then rinse it thoroughly and let it dry.

Each HVAC system is different and thus, you have to take stock of the manufacturer instructions for maintaining your model. For instance, your manual will tell you whether or not different components need to be replaced or if they can be simply washed clean. Following the directions of the manufacturer is the best way to extend the lifetime of your unit and avoid unnecessary damages.

Hiring professionals to conduct maintenance for you is also a good idea. Although important, a filter is only one of many components that make up this system. All of the interior parts of your unit will need to be fine tuned and cleaned of particulates from time to time. Measures like these will minimize the number of repair issues that you encounter, even with frequent system use.

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