The short answer is once a month, although twice a month would be sufficient.

However, there are many consequences that come with not changing your unit’s air filter regularly.

The modern age is filled with several little conveniences, many of which we take for granted every day. One of the most important amenities in our lives, especially for those of us residing in the Volusia County towns of Deland, Deltona Debary, or any city in the area, is indoor heating and air conditioning. According to the Residential Energy Consumption Survey conducted in 2011, an estimated 100 million Americans have heating and air conditioning units installed in their homes. Although heating and air conditioning units are in abundance among us here in Florida, few know exactly when to have their unit properly serviced.

Air Pollution

This a serious issue. Air can become polluted due to a wide variety of factors, such as burning wood, coal, and the introduction of other airborne toxins from sources like common household sprays. Not having your heating and air conditioning unit serviced regularly could lead to costly repairs or replacement of the unit, not to mention various health complications related to breathing in toxins lingering in the air. These complications can include respiratory difficulties (such as emphysema and asthma), strokes, and heart disease. Exposure to carbon monoxide and mold spores is also of great concern when dealing with neglected air conditioning units. The Center for Disease Control approximates that each year, more than 400 Americans die of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Mold can grow as the result of an unclean filter becoming damp due to built-up condensation in the unit. Mold is extremely hazardous, as it can thrive and spread in numerous out of sight and hard to reach places, including inside your heating and air conditioning unit. Additionally, mold can cause various illnesses, such as skin irritation, eye irritation, wheezing and other respiratory problems.

Want to learn more about the consequences of air pollution? Read our blog post titled “Indoor Air Pollution – Why You Should Be Concerned“.

Dangerous Conditions

Furthermore, neglecting to have your unit serviced leads to dangers such as exposure to carbon monoxide and even fires. The question then arises, how do you know when you should you change your filter? There are two acceptable answers to this pressing question. Ideally, you should change the filter on your air conditioning unit every month. However, it is also adequate to change the filter once every two months. It is estimated that over four million people die every year of health related issues caused by air pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that the air inside the average American home can be up to five times more harmful than the air outside. This is quite alarming, especially when you consider the fact that most people spend 90% of their time indoors. The onset of serious illness and having to deal with expensive repairs can be completely avoided through ensuring your unit is looked at by a HVAC professional.

It is important not to attempt to troubleshoot any issues with your heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit yourself. Any mistakes could result in the system ceasing to function properly and as previously mentioned, a malfunctioning system could bring about costly repairs, replacement, or illness. Air conditioning units should always be serviced by a HVAC technician.

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