In large part, modern HVAC systems are nearly maintenance free. We don’t mean that they don’t break down, we mean that you don’t have to get oil changes, rotate your tires, refill the blinker fluid, or anything else particularly special, they just work except for the occasional breakdown. That is except for the one, final frontier in user maintenance. There is one, absolutely essential thing you must do if you use an air conditioner.
CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER
I’d have made that blink and flash, but the boss took my keyboard away until I agreed to stop putting neon-signs in the blog.
Time after time after time, people ignore that blinking little light that says “change your filter.” This is a bad thing. We get it filters are expensive. They’re big and bulky, so they cost us more to ship in and out, and you always have to drag yourself to the supply room and mess with things to replace them. Nobody wants to sit around, changing filters, but you need to.
Effects of Dirty Filters
There are three main problems with dirty filters: they stink, they can lead to mold, and they block airflow. With a gross enough filter, no one will want to be in the office, your customers will run away, and some poor sap is going to change it wearing rubber gloves and a home made hazmat suit.
Once an air filter reaches capacity, dirt and debris builds up on the surface and even starts to seep around its edges or even collect against the front of the filter. This is a haven for bacteria. Microscopic creatures, from mites to diseases, all gather on the filter and begin to eat the debris and excrete foul smells into the air. And it gets worse: the air flow over the filter picks up the bacteria and other contaminants, and carries it around.
Depending on the design of your system, this will cause mold to grow inside air ducts or spread around your office space, along with bacteria and allergens. Instead of a clean, fresh office, your workspace becomes a petri dish, a bacterial nightmare. On top of the moldy scent, this is bad for your health. Individuals with allergies will particularly suffer. In the right circumstances, this can make the workspace worse than being outside.
This finally has one more major issue: blocked airflow. The blockage prevents air from actually getting into your office. This will cause the air conditioner to work longer for little change in the environment, increase the office temperature, and eventually cause premature failures in the air conditioner from running longer than necessary and increased pressure in the air ducts. This will hit your wallet through the electrical bill and heftier repair costs.
So, we’ll say it again:
CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER
If you change out your filters, you’ll have a nicer officers and lower air-conditioner related bills.