I’ve learned a valuable lesson since I moved out of my parents home and into my first apartment: Few people are willing to take care of their home! Think about it – how often would you say your friends cleaned their apartment when they first moved out on their own, or how often you yourself did the cleaning and maintenance? Not very often, I’d wager. Thankfully I was taught from an early age that I needed to assume everything was up to me. Doing that allowed me to treat every situation as though the results hinge on my input, so I don’t let much get by – especially the condition of my home! I will say that I didn’t know much of anything about heating, ventilation or air conditioning though. That’s what shocked me most, as I had no real idea of how critical the HVAC system is for retaining indoor air quality! More than anything else, I was shocked at the impact made just by replacing the air filter on a routine basis. That flimsy little sliver of cardboard and fibers can really make or break the air quality indoors. Not only does it assist the improvement of indoor air quality, but changing the filters out each month greatly reduces the workload placed on the air conditioning unit – as well as the heating system, if they share ductwork in the house. If your energy bills are skyrocketing over peak summer or winter weather, it might be time to change that air filter out. If not, you might notice your heating system or air conditioning unit running for longer than it should – and that just means your bills for energy use are going to climb higher and higher.