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Changing HVAC filters regularly is vital for home comfort and efficiency 

Remembering to change out your home’s HVAC filters on a regular basis is a simple way to maintain system efficiency and indoor air quality, according to Tony Hicks, Assistant GM & […]

Remembering to change out your home’s HVAC filters on a regular basis is a simple way to maintain system efficiency and indoor air quality, according to Tony Hicks, Assistant GM & HVAC Service Manager at Peaden.

  • “It may seem obvious, but for a lot of people, it’s out of sight, out of mind,” said Hicks. You may get away with it without really noticing through the lighter part of the summer season, but when it gets into the 90s and up, that filter makes a big difference.” 

Hicks explains that Peaden frequently gets calls from homeowners puzzled as to why their system is no longer maintaining the set temperature. “We go over there and it is a dirty filter,” he said. 

A clogged filter forces the HVAC system to “run way harder than it needs to,” Hicks emphasized. The reduced airflow causes a ripple effect of problems. With air restricted, the evaporator coil runs colder than designed, sometimes freezing into a solid block of ice. This not only stops cooling altogether, but as it melts it can lead to water damage in the home.

  • Excess moisture introduced into the ductwork also promotes bacteria growth. And in Florida’s humid climate, this can rapidly deteriorate air quality.

The strain of trying to pull air through a dirty filter has other impacts as well.“When your system’s working harder, your amp draws go up and your motor has to pull higher amps to pull that air through your outdoor units,” Hicks explained. 

This increased workload comes at a cost for homeowners. “It just wears out your system much faster,” said Hicks. “Here in Florida, the average lifespan is 8 to 12 years, which is pretty low. So the nicer you can be to your equipment, the more life you can squeeze out on the back end.”

  • Of course, the harder an HVAC system works, the more energy it consumes. That translates directly into higher electricity bills. Simply keeping filters clean can have a significant impact on monthly costs.

For homeowners concerned about allergens and dust, high-efficiency filters can help remove more particles. But Hicks cautions that you need to ensure your HVAC system can handle the increased airflow resistance. 

“Knowing if your filter is big enough for the equipment is huge,” he advised. “A common problem in Florida, too, is people will upsize the equipment, but not the air return.”

  • Trying to push air through too small of a filter or air return starves the system, replicating the issues of a severely clogged filter.

If adequately sized, thicker pleated filters are a good option. Another solution Hicks recommends is electrostatic filters. “It basically electrifies the filter so all the tiny little microns that you typically breathe in and go right through the filter, they all get magnetized to each other so they can get caught by the filter,” he said.

  • While electrostatic filters have a higher upfront cost, the replacement pads are inexpensive. This makes them more affordable long-term while providing superior filtration, according to Hicks.

By changing filters regularly and using the right type and size for your HVAC system, you can maximize performance. Be sure to consult HVAC experts at Peaden to help determine optimal filter selection. A small investment of time and money in maintenance today will pay dividends through improved indoor comfort and energy efficiency for years to come.

For more information on HVAC services from Peaden, visit their website today.

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