Does a Dirty Filter Really Filter Better?

Particulate capture efficiency increases as the filter becomes dirtier; the buildup of debris in the fibers reduces the openings through which air passes, allowing the filter to capture more particles. This is beneficial only to a certain extent. Dust and debris in the filter slow down airflow, forcing the heating or cooling system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. This wastes energy and increases your utility bills.

Heating and air conditioning account for nearly half of energy costs in a U. S. household. A clogged filter causes those systems to use 15 percent more energy, according to the U.

Department of Energy. So, does a dirty air filter affect the air conditioner? The air conditioner filter plays an important role in your HVAC system, as it filters the air by removing particles that shouldn't be in your home. Therefore, when the filter becomes clogged with a lot of dust, it will affect the functionality of the system. One of the purposes of an air filter is to filter out all microscopic particles such as dust, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, plant spores and mold, and even smoke. Given the money you've already invested in your home, not to mention the priority you place on your health, not changing air filters regularly just doesn't make sense.

However, most of the time, changing the air filter probably seems like one of those inconsequential tasks that is OK to postpone. After washing the air filter, rinse it with clean, warm water and shake it to drain any excess water trapped in the filter. HVAC air filters work in partnership with your home's heating and cooling system to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. However, if the air filter is new but the air conditioner is still producing warm air, consider hiring an expert. From sizes to types, grades and more, here's everything you need to know about air filters.

When the filter becomes clogged with a lot of dirt, it prevents cold air from passing through, causing uncomfortable and warm temperatures. If your air conditioner uses a disposable filter, replace it regularly with a replacement designed explicitly for the system. Consequently, the efficiency of the system will be reduced and it may even stop working if the filter is not replaced. Regardless of why it happens, you might wonder if forgetting to regularly change your air filter is really that important. In addition, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some MERV 12 filters and most MERV 13 filters are almost as effective as HEPA filters in reducing airborne particulates related to adverse health effects. The bottom line is that changing your air filter regularly is essential for maintaining a healthy home environment and keeping your HVAC system running efficiently.

Not only will this help reduce energy costs but also improve indoor air quality.

Elisa Michocki
Elisa Michocki

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