13:36 PM

Keep Filters Changed, Keep Power Bill Down

Changing your heating and air system’s filters can be easy to forget because they’re out-of-sight, out-of-mind. By the time you remember they’re due for a change, you may not have any on hand at home. If you’re like me, when you’re shopping, air filters are usually not at the top of your list.

Consider the important role HVAC filters play in your home’s indoor air quality: They trap airborne debris and pollutants that, if left to float free throughout your home, could expose you to harmful particles and allergens. Indoor air pollutants include mold, pollen, smoke, gases, pesticides and cleaning products. Keeping your home ventilated and free of these pollutants can prevent respiratory disease.

It’s common knowledge that air filters need to be replaced routinely. Like batteries that need to be changed routinely to keep smoke detectors working, HVAC filters also need to be replaced—but with even more frequency.

Today’s standard filters should be changed every one to three months, depending on your HVAC system and the filter that fits it. Typically, manufacturers recommend filters be changed every 30 to 60 days, but most HVAC professionals suggest replacing them once every three months. Like anything else, how often you change them depends on your household habits and other factors, including the type of air filter, number of people and pets in your home, level of air pollution around your home, and whether or not someone with allergies lives in the home.

What happens when you don’t stay on top of replacing your air filter?

Dirty filters reduce the airflow in your HVAC system, which makes it work harder and longer, causing dust and dirt to build up in the system. This puts your HVAC at risk of premature equipment failure while increasing its costs to operate—an increase that is reflected on your power bill. Keeping clean filters in your HVAC system can result in energy efficiency that’s 5 to 15% better than systems with dirty filters, according to energy.gov.

One way to remember to replace your air filters is to check them each month when your Jackson EMC bill arrives. If they’re dirty, replace them. If not, check them again when your next power bill arrives.

But Jackson EMC offers an even easier solution.

Partnering with FilterChange.coop, Jackson EMC offers a Filter Change Program that helps you keep your filters changed when necessary. The service provides new filters delivered to your home, at the best price, plus monthly email reminders so that you never again forget to change your filters.

It’s as easy as this: Order your filters online from FilterChange.coop. You’ll receive email reminders when it’s time to change filters. 

What a great solution to my perpetual tendency to forget to change the air filter.

Now, if the battery companies would only come up with a similar solution for replacing the batteries in my smoke detectors.

Jackie Kennedy has worked with Georgia’s electric cooperatives for 26 years, producing newsletters, press releases and articles about the industry or energy-related matters. She is the author of People, Power, Progress: The Story of Jackson EMC, published in 2013. In her blog, she grapples with a variety of energy efficiency topics.