Blog | Forcedaire HVAC | Air Conditioning | Heating and Cooling Systems


6 Top Reasons to Change Your Furnace Filter

by forceda on September 15, 2023

1. Furnace Filters Help Maintain Healthy Air Quality

The primary purpose of any air filter is to filter air. Furnace and HVAC filters are especially made to capture and trap airborne pollutants, such as allergens, pet dander, dust, smog, and even mold spores. If an air filter gets dirty and clogged, not only will it become completely ineffective at trapping nasty air particles, but it could work to worsen the overall air quality in your home. Why? The pre-existing pollutants will have nowhere to go and could eventually dislodge from the filter.

If you are particularly concerned about your home’s air quality, be sure to choose the right air filter for your furnace system. When shopping, look at the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) number, which ranges from 1 to 12. The higher the number, the better the filtration is.

2. New Furnace Filters Extend the Life of Your HVAC Unit

HVAC units and furnace systems are extremely expensive, costing $10,000 on average. Make sure you squeeze the most time out of your system by regularly replacing the air filter. As a matter of fact, a dirty filter is the most common cause of heating and air conditioning system breakdowns. Air can’t pass through when dirt builds up on the filter, and the system could even overheat. Your motor will also have to work harder, leading to repairs or, even worse, needing a new system.

3. Clean Air Filters Keep Energy Costs Down

Getting that energy bill every month is certainly not fun. However, you can make it less of a hassle by replacing your furnace’s air filters according to expert recommendations.

When an air filter is clogged, your system uses more energy, driving your bill up. The average household spends about $2,700 a year on energy bills, according to The Department of Energy. By changing your furnace air filter regularly, you can save anywhere from 5 to 15% on your utility costs.

4. Replacing Furnace Filters Decreases the Likelihood of Dangerous Scenarios

Though rare, a clogged furnace filter can lead to serious consequences. Dirty filters force the motor or heating apparatus to work harder, which can eventually lead the entire system to overheat. Dirty filters can also start short cycling, which causes your furnace to turn off prematurely. That is no fun during the winter.

Finally, an overtaxed and clogged heating unit can start a fire. This happens when a dirty air filter is sucked back into the system, compromising airflow and starting a dangerous fire at the furnace level.

5. Fresh Furnace Filters Can Increase Temperature Regulation

The primary reason you have a furnace is to keep your home nice and toasty during the winter. A dirty and clogged filter can prevent the heating system from working at maximum efficiency. A used filter creates strain on the whole system, so less heat travels throughout your home. If you want to cut down on the shivering from December until April, make sure your filters are clean and that your furnace has been maintained.

By the way, the same goes for air conditioning. Replace the filters to help regulate the temperature during those balmy summer months.

6. Eliminate Stagnant Air by Changing Your Furnace Filter

If air isn’t constantly moving, it will stagnate, allowing odor-causing particles, dust, moisture, and more to fall onto surfaces. A furnace sends warm air through your ducts at regular intervals, which helps increase the overall airflow.

If the furnace’s filter becomes clogged, less air circulates, and you could find your surfaces to be dirtier than normal. If your home is prone to moisture, stagnate air can encourage mold and mildew growth, even during the winter months.


If you’ve been asking yourself, “How often should I service my air conditioner?” it’s probably time! Before summer hits and you’re melting in the scorching heat, make sure you get your AC serviced by the Forced Aire HVAC professionals. Don’t risk voiding your warranty or ending up with a big repair bill by trying to do it yourself. Instead, stay frosty all summer long by having your AC serviced at least annually.

Do You Really Need to Get Your AC Serviced Every Year?

The short answer: Yes, you do. There are plenty of reasons to get your air conditioning serviced regularly, not the least of which is that it inevitably saves you money. If you don’t get the unit serviced, you may not know there’s an issue until it’s much bigger and more expensive to fix.

By having your AC system serviced often, the fixes are usually smaller and less expensive. The average AC tune-up cost ranges between $89.00 to $125.00. But prices will vary depending on the unit, the issue, and your location. While maintenance for larger AC units costs between $350 and $750. This annual inspection will not cost you much time.

On the flip side, an un-serviced AC loses 5% efficiency per year and uses more energy, which will cost you more in energy bills. This lack of routine maintenance also puts more strain on the system, reducing its lifespan by as much as 50%. And a new air conditioner costs up to $7,500.

When Should You Service Your AC?

At a minimum, you should aim to have your AC serviced every year in early to mid-spring. But for optimal performance, it would be in your best interest to also have your unit serviced in the fall. Forced Aire HVAC will focus on your furnace to prepare your system to deal with heating demands once the temperatures cool.

Scheduling service during the winter months is also not recommended because running the unit in cold weather can damage it. The oil inside your unit thickens when exposed to cooler external temperatures, and the resulting lack of oil circulation can cause the system to malfunction.

If you have a warm stretch during the winter and are looking for relief, a better option would be to open the windows and allow fresh air to cool you down. Or you can plug in a fan near an open window to enhance the breeze’s effect.

What an Annual AC Service Covers

However often you get your air conditioning unit serviced, the technician will perform the same set of tasks to make sure your system is in good repair.

These AC service tasks include:

  • Replace the air filters
  • Clean and inspect the indoor and outdoor coils
  • Inspect the condensate pump
  • Check the thermostat works properly
  • Clean the condensate pump of dirt and debris
  • Visually inspect the whole HVAC system
  • Clean away any dust, dirt, and debris from the system

Should You Get an HVAC Service Plan?

One way to potentially save money and keep your HVAC in peak condition is to get an annual HVAC service plan. If you’re outside of your warranty period, a service plan is a cost-effective option.

Just make sure you read the fine print and know whether you’re getting yearly or twice-yearly HVAC services, or whether the contract includes repairs and emergency service. If repair is part of your plan, check whether parts or just labor is covered.

Here are some tasks that commonly make up an HVAC service plan:

  • Regular seasonal inspections and tune-ups
  • Filter replacement
  • Thermostat repairs
  • Airway cleaning
  • Insulation inspection and advice
  • Lubricant and refrigerant checks
  • Air health and quality inspections

4 Ways to Service Your AC Yourself

Even if you book an annual air conditioner service often, there are still things you can do throughout the year to optimize your AC’s efficiency and keep it working at its best.

Here are some things you can do to service and maintenance ideas for your AC system:

  1. Clean Evaporator and Condenser Coils

Over time, your air conditioner’s evaporator coil will collect dirt and debris. This build-up reduces airflow and slows down the machine. Follow these tips and this guide to cleaning AC coils for best results.

  • Use compressed air to clean coils in the outdoor unit.
  • Sweep a soft brush along the coils to remove light layers of dirt.
  • Consider using foam cleaners or self-rinsing oil spray on coils with heavy build-up.
  1. Clean or Replace the Air Filter

While many people let their HVAC tech worry about the air conditioning filter, you should be changing it at least every 90 days. Suppose you have pets, children, or family members with allergies or asthma. In that case, you should select a filter rated MERV 13, which removes tiny allergen particles, including pet dander, pollen, bacteria, viruses, mold spores, and more. Be sure to change it at least every 60 days.

Air filters can get clogged quickly, which significantly reduces your air conditioner’s efficiency and makes it harder to cool your home.

  1. Clean the Vents

Cleaning the vents is an important but often overlooked task and should be done as often as every 90 days. The cleaning process is simple. Just unscrew and remove the vents and wipe them with a soft cloth to remove any buildup that could reduce efficiency.

Then, vacuum inside the ducts as far as you can reach, removing as much dust as you can. Not only does this help maintain AC efficiency, but also reduces the amount of dust and allergen particles circulating through your home.

  1. Winterize Your Air Conditioner

Reduce the risk of rust, weather damage, and wildlife nesting in or eating the mechanical parts of your air conditioner by performing some basic AC winterization.

These tasks should be part of your routine air conditioner maintenance:

  • Clear the area around the condenser of all accumulated debris, leaves, twigs, and weeds. Continue to do this periodically through the winter months.
  • Rinse the outdoor unit with a garden hose to remove insects, droppings, and dirt, then allow the unit to dry thoroughly.
  • Cut the power supply to stop the unit from turning on during an unseasonably warm day, which could result in water buildup inside that could freeze and cause damage.
  • Insulate pipes with foam tubing to prevent freezing and protect the exterior air conditioning unit with a close-fitting cover.
  • As winter progresses, make sure you remove any ice and snow from the top of the unit to prevent damage from the sheer weight of the wintery buildup.

Service Your AC to Extend Its Lifespan

Now that you know how often to service your air conditioner, hire Forced Aire HVAC for maintenance to help extend its life. Don’t forget about the DIY components, like changing air filters, to keep it running at max efficiency for you and your family.

Wishing you a great spring and summer season.
Forced Aire HVAC  801-593-8265


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