3 Expensive Reasons to Clean Your HVAC Filter Today
You've heard us say it before: "HVAC maintenance is important!" or "Doing regular maintenance will save you money!" We even extended our $99 Maintenance Special to further encourage homeowners to keep up with a maintenance routine.
We're Not Kidding - It'll Save You Money
This sweet elderly customer of ours had the unfortunate experience of an AC breakdown this summer. When we went out to her home to fix the unit, what we discovered made us shiver:
The Filter Was Never Cleaned
What you're looking at right now is at least 1 lb of pure dirt - caked into the filter and fan airway of an HVAC unit. It looks pretty gross, right? How long was the filter overlooked for it to get this bad? It's obviously been years of forgetfulness.
Folks, we installed this unit in September. That's right. It hasn't even been a single year.
In spite of this, this customer's filter had developed so much dirt and grime in the last 10 months, there was permanent damage to several parts of her HVAC unit. We scrubbed and scrubbed for an hour trying to salvage the parts, but the damage was done - and we wish it stopped there. Not only had the filter been clogged with dust and bacteria all this time, contaminating her air, but the dirt had made its way through to the fan. As the heart of an HVAC unit, once we discovered the fan was involved, there was no easy way out.
Cleaning your filter isn't just about protecting the air you breath and your own health; it's also about protecting the intricate and valuable parts inside the unit that allow it to be an HVAC. Think of your filter like Taylor Swift's bodyguard, or the Secret Service. It's not just there for aesthetics, it's got a real job to do.
The Air Filter Couldn't Catch a Break
Despite the fan being unable to distribute cool air, the unit was still trying to keep up. Weeks went by with her filter and fan jammed from dust and dirt - unable to properly function and cool the air. Regardless, this customer kept the unit running. 24/7. What happens when you try to run an AC that can't really run? It literally freezes over.
Even after we put in fresh and safe new parts, this customer still had to go without cool air - long enough for the entire foot of ice to melt.
Common Sense Saves You a Service Call
There are several completely avoidable factors at play with this scenario. First, the filter needed to be cleaned, setting the scene for a breakdown. Next, when the filter was blocked for an extended period of time, the dirt got through the filter and into the fan. The fan quickly jammed and could no longer circulate the cool air. So where does the cool air go? Nowhere. It stays stuck inside the coil, turning freezing temperatures into a solid barrier of ice. Once the coil is frozen, any hope of cool air passing through is completely gone. Finally, upon realizing the AC isn't cooling her home, the homeowner turns the thermostat down even lower - to 68 degrees.
Folks, do not set your thermostat to 68 degrees, no matter how well the AC works. Do not set your thermostat below 74 degrees. Why? As our trusted HVAC specialist explained, "It's not a refrigerator."
What could've been a quick trip outside to rinse off the HVAC filter, escalated into frequent phone calls, multiple trips to the residence, $500+ in parts, an urgent need for duct cleaning, and an entire month of confusion and frustration. All of which could've been avoided by cleaning the filter, and following the advice of the technician(s). So, please, listen to your HVAC technician when they tell you to turn the thermostat down and/or clean the filter. We don't say it for our sake - we say it for yours!