If you have a forced-air central heating and / or cooling system within your home, you should be aware of what can happen if you don't regularly clean or replace the air filter. The air filter removes foreign objects from the air within your home, such as dust, airborne molds, germs, carbon from burned fossil fuels, odors and a host of plant pollens.
Most air handler systems come equipped with some kind of air filter that you can clean and put back into the inflow air register. The purpose of such a filter is to trap some of those airborne foreign objects from collecting on the equipment within your air handler, such as the fan, cooling grid and electric heating unit. These foreign objects can also build up on the interior surface of your air ducts.
If you don't regularly clean the air filter, you will reduce the overall efficiency of the equipment, which will cost you more money in the long run. As more foreign objects enter your home, your dirty equipment will blow more of them back into the air, which could affect your breathing. These particles will also get on your furniture and floors and also in your food.
Permanent air filters aren't as good as the replacement filters you can buy at your local hardware store. Sure, they can range in cost from $6 to $30 per filter for only a few months of worry-free protection, but they will remove a whole lot more from the air than permanent air filters. The cost of each filer depends on its ability to remove even the smallest harmful particle from the air. Replacement filters remain efficient for as long as three months before a replacement is needed.
A clean home is a healthy home. The regular replacement of the air filter within your heating and / or cooling system is the best way to prevent the spread of germs, mold, dust, pollen and other foreign objects from making you and your family sick.