There are many important and critical devices that make up a home. One of the most important devices in our homes is the heating and air conditioning, or HVAC system. This system provides cool to our houses in summer and warm air in the cooler months. However, maintaining this device can be critical to its long term use. Many forget that one of the easiest ways to help maintain the life of this important machine is to change the air filter air filter once a month. 

The air filter is a simple device that passively traps the dust and other particles that are coming into the HVAC system. As the system operates it will draw in the surrounding air as part of its normal operation. The system needs air to heat or cool. However, this air can be filled with dust and other particles. The filter will trap many of these particles and allow clean air to move throughout the system. 

The main reason that it is critical that the filter be changed monthly is that the filter will fill up on the dust and other particles very quickly. Once the filter reaches a state that the particles are no longer trapped, the unfiltered air will move into the HVAC system causing excessive wear. The dust and other particles will move into the HVAC system and act like an abrasive, rubbing against the parts of the system wearing them faster than normal Additionally, the unfiltered air will be then put back into the surrounding area with negative results.

Changing the filter is so simple that anyone can do it. Air filters come in many different sizes. The important part is to choose the filter that is the same size as the one in the existing HVAC system. The way to tell what size filter is needed is to look at the side of the existing filter. There will be numbers such as 20 x 20 x 1. This an overall measurement of the filter’s size. Most big box store such as Home Depot and Lowe’s will have a large supply of filters. To replace the filter simple slide the old one out and put the new one in. An arrow will indicate the flow of air and which way the filter should face. One should reference the manufacturer’s instructions when replacing the filter. Once the filter is replaced, that’s it. Not only will the air in the home be fresher, but the HVAC will last longer as well.