I know you’ve heard plenty of new homeownership stories. Been to the parties or were forced into-I mean helped your buddy move in. But you know what you don’t hear that happens a lot more than you think? You don’t hear the horror stories related to moving into a new home involving blowing money on unexpected repairs. You don’t typically hear about how the HVAC in that new home went on the fritz just in time to ruin your buddy’s engagement party or his wife’s baby shower. Have you ever seen the disappointment on an entire party’s face due to uncomfortable temperatures during a gathering? You typically don’t hear these stories because they involve someone who forgot to change their air filter, an all too common occurrence and we’ve all been there. I see the dark side of home ownership on a regular basis because I’m an HVAC Service Technician. More than half of my service calls during certain times of the year relate to a dirty filter, or more often, a cheap filter that didn’t catch the dirt and their brand new furnace or heat pump took the brunt of the assault from running without proper care. And now I have to charge you $500 to clean your brand new $10,000 appliance!  I love educating my customers, but every time I do, I get more disappointed in the lack of maintenance instructions they’re given by their real estate agent, builder, and sometimes even other HVAC companies.

We need to be more honest with ourselves. Most people these days are enjoying the fruits of their labor after work by setting their fancy, smartphone-controlled thermostat to whatever temperature they feel suits them at the moment. They give little thought to their HVAC systems beyond that and forget to check their filters on a regular basis. Then, they’re faced with a serious malfunction on the first hot or cold day of the year or during an important gathering, and most times, the problem turns out to be…drum roll please…they need a new filter. I always feel terrible that I have to charge someone to tell them they just had to change the filter and reset the unit or let the ice melt, so if you could use the monthly reminder that it’s time to check your filters, sign up for our newsletter

Honestly, I think it’s easier to remember to change your filters when you really understand what your filters are doing. Every time your heater or a/c kicks on, your circulating air is being filtered. Think of it as a giant vacuum cleaner in which your filter is getting dirtier by the second. Why is it getting so dirty so quickly? Because you shed. That’s right, you. And your dog sheds. And your kids shed. And neither your dog nor your kids give a second thought to rolling around on the ground outside and then traipsing through the house covered in dirt, pollen, and everything else they come across. And let’s not forget about dust mites. We all know someone who has an allergy to dust mites. Wherever there are human beings there are dust mites. They live off of us and then they reproduce because they’re so healthy and well fed. They also, like other living beings, excrete their waste, expelling these nutrients to create something we call “dust.” Yes, you heard me right. That fine fluff of particles that you can observe floating on beams of sunlight in your living room? That’s dead skin and dust mite poop. So for everyone’s sake, get a better air filter.

Already using premium air filters? Great! Now do not forget to change them. Do not wait 90 days to see if they are dirty before you put a new one in. If the system has been running a lot lately, it is probably dirtier than you think. Make the habit of checking your air filters monthly. Especially if you have a new HVAC system.

Most new HVAC systems move less air than older, less efficient ones. This actually allows high-quality air filters to trap more particles and load up sooner. For this reason, we highly recommend a monthly air filter check. This will also help you familiarize yourself with your HVAC system. You’ll know what it looks like and what it sounds like. One day, if it starts making a funky sound or leaking water, you will be more prepared to deal with the problem because you will know what normal is. Where is your HVAC system? How many do you have? Knowing the answer to these question is important to taking care of your investment. Learn how you can protect the most expensive appliance in your house by following our tips and monthly filter change reminders on Facebook and Twitter.

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