Apartment living can be extremely convenient that is why people prefer to move to rented apartments. On-site gyms, pools, pet parks and business centers can cut out (formerly necessary) trips across town and free up time in your busy schedule. When you’re moving into your new place, make sure to ask about the smaller conveniences, like if they provide light bulbs and, more importantly, air filters.

Due to most renters’ lack of knowledge (and possibly interest) in the inner workings of HVAC equipment, air filters are mistakenly neglected. But, just like coach John Wooden said, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” Consider your air filter that little thing! This is one of the mistakes people often make during house removals. The truth is, your air conditioner simply cannot perform the way it was designed to without giving your air filters the attention they deserve. And here’s why they deserve it!

• Air filters aren’t just for dust. They capture the smallest things you rarely (or don’t want to) think about. We’re talking about things like allergens, dust mites, airborne bacteria and viruses. Imagine a hospital without these air filters to stop the airborne transmission of harmful bacteria, viruses and diseases.
• Your air filters can lower your energy bill if you take care of them. A clogged, forgotten filter impedes air flow, causing your system to work overtime trying to reach your desired temperature. This can lead to overheating and even a total system failure. Depending on your lease, you could get stuck with a portion of the replacement fee if they see you’ve neglected your air filter maintenance. If you aren’t responsible for any costs, you’re still going to have to endure a stifling apartment until the new unit is installed.

So when you pick up your keys on day one of your lease, don’t let the excitement stop you from asking the important questions. Are you responsible for air filter maintenance or will a maintenance worker replace them each month? Does the apartment community provide filters or do you need to purchase your own? Knowing the answers to these questions can save you a lot of money and comfort before the move.

(Ben Hubbert is the co-owner and president of Champion AC, an air conditioning and heating company in San Antonio, Texas. Connect with Ben on Google+.)

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