This has been an absolutely bizarre year for weather. With a prolonged and surprisingly mild fall leading into a brutal but inconsistent period of winter, my heating and air conditioning system has been bouncing all over the place, and that makes me worried. I don’t want to overwork my furnace and be left in the cold when another frigid snap comes through.

Luckily, there’s a very simple process I can go through that will ensure a prolonged and happy life for my furnace. Regularly changing my air filter takes stress off of both the furnace and air conditioner and leads to a happier, more efficient HVAC system.

As your furnace and air conditioner work, your air filter picks up harmful pollutants in the air. Without regularly cleaning and switching your air filter, in the least serious cases, this can lead to less efficient systems and higher bills. In the worst cases it can lead to total breakdowns, and with the brutal Minnesota winters, no one wants to go through furnace repair in Minneapolis.

A broken furnace can leave you in the cold for days, and installing a new one is expensive. This sort of unexpected cost can be absolutely devastating. Purchasing a new furnace and paying for its installation can cost up to $10,000. This could easily dry up the average family’s emergency funds. But, that cost can be avoided simply by replacing your air filter once a month to once every three months.

For as little as $40 a month for an air filter, you could save your family from an unexpected $10,000 disaster.

But, even if you don’t ever deal with a complete system breakdown, ignoring regular air filter replacement still costs money. Because the filter is clouded up with dust, dirt, and other pollutants your furnace and air conditioner must work harder to properly heat or cool your home. This extra work drives up energy consumption, which in turn drives up bill prices.

Changing your air filter isn’t a difficult process, either. You simply need to purchase a new air filter, shut off your system, remove the old filter, and slide in the new one. However, if this process is causing you trouble, or you simply don’t trust yourself to fiddle around with expensive home equipment, most HVAC repair companies will replace the filter for you.

Proper air filter replacement routines are an easy, cost effective way to save money and prevent disaster. By simply replacing your air filter once a month, or slightly more frequently when the system is running non-stop, you can save yourself money and heartache.