The answer is yes. Regularly changing your air filter actually can save you money throughout the year.
When air filters run anywhere between $10-$20 each, you probably ask yourself why you need to change them so often. Most HVAC professionals will tell you to change them at least once every 3 months, or 4 times per year, which adds up to anywhere between $40 and $80 per year, per filter needed for your house.
When you have a bills to pay and mouths to feed, that’s no small sum in the big scheme of things.
According to the Department of Energy, replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can reduce energy consumption by as much as 15%. Combine that with the knowledge that you’re HVAC is responsible for approximately half your energy bill, and you’re looking at savings of 7.5% every month.
So if your average electric bill is $100 per month, you could save approximately $7.50 by changing your filter regularly (or, you are already saving that much if you change them regularly). Over three months, that’s $22.50. That said, if your energy bill is only $100 per month, good on you.
If your bill is closer to the $200 range – and it can likely creep up there when the furnace or a/c is working daily to heat or cool your house – you’re looking at savings of up to $45 per month.
So…is the juice worth the squeeze? In this case, yes it is. Changing your filter regularly can help you save money on your energy bills. But that’s not the only place where you can save.
Regularly changing your filter is the first line of defense for protecting the health of your HVAC system. When a filter gets too clogged up, it provides resistance to airflow in your system, making your furnace or air conditioning unit work even harder to heat or cool your house. While this alone increases cost (as explained above), it also contributes to the deterioration of your HVAC unit.
A furnace that works harder and more often is far more likely to break down and need repairs or replacement than a filter that runs smoothly and cleanly. As anyone knows, HVAC repairs can put a dent in the wallet, and a complete replacement is even worse. The average HVAC repair cost for each major component in the system is between $300 and $700. Now imagine having to repair multiple at the same time, or replacing the entire unit. Ouch.
So think of it this way: not only are you saving money on your energy bills, you’re actually helping prevent an even more costly breakdown of your system.