There are several benefits to routinely cleaning or replacing the air filters in your home. Depending on the heating and cooling system(s) installed in your home or business, you may have different types of filters installed for different purposes.
Filters that go unchanged (or uncleaned, depending on the type of filter used by your system) will eventually become dirty and clogged and will restrict airflow to the equipment. This will not only make your system run harder and deliver less comfort, but it will consume more fuel doing so. Removing a filter will increase airflow but, if not replaced, will cause your equipment to accumulate dirt and debris, inviting preventible breakdowns and premature failure. When you consider the cost of replacing equipment and energy bills related to maintaining indoor comfort, time spent checking or replacing/cleaning your filter is a relatively small investment with a very good return.
If you or others suffer from allergies or if you find excessive dust accumulation, paying regular attention to your filter is a good starting point in looking for relief. You may want to consider a higher quality filter.
Cheap disposable filters are good for keeping puppies and small children out of your ductwork. Seriously— they are better than nothing, but are not very effective at filtering out smaller particles if you are seeking improved air quality.
Higher quality filters (MERV) are more effective at filtering dust, allergens and other particulates out of your indoor air. The higher the rating, the more stringent the filter, but be aware that not all systems have a powerful enough blower to support denser filters. If you are interested in improving your filter quality, check your system literature or contact Air Quality Services, Inc. to determine which type(s) will work with your system.