When to Change Your AC Filter: 5 Signs You Shouldn't Ignore

It's important to keep your air conditioner filter clean and replace it regularly. A clogged filter interferes with normal air flow from the air conditioning system, impairs the system's ability to keep it cool, and increases energy consumption. In general, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies recommend changing the air filter every 90 days or 3 months. However, this may change depending on the location of your home, if you have pets, and the age of your system and equipment.

If you have pets in the house, you should consider changing the filter every 60 days or 2 months, and for households with multiple pets or people with allergies or respiratory conditions, we recommend changing the filter every 20 to 45 days. Vacation homes or vacant homes that don't have much use can usually wait to change filters every 9-12 months. Now that you have a good filter, there are a combination of factors that affect how often you replace it. Every three weeks is a good rule of thumb if you have multiple pets, live in a very dusty or contaminated area, or have severe allergies.

When it comes to knowing when to change your AC filter, there are five common signs that you should look out for:

  • A clear sign that the air conditioner filter needs to be replaced is when the back of the unit is too hot.
  • There is more dust near the ventilation grilles.
  • The most obvious sign that you need a new air filter is if the one you have is gray and dirty.
  • If changing your air conditioner filter does not resolve the above signs, contact us immediately for assistance from a professional HVAC contractor.
  • When air ducts accumulate dirt and debris, these contaminants circulate throughout the house, negatively affecting air quality.
Be sure to take out the air filter and check it out at least once every two months. If it looks dirty or dusty, change it. A clean filter increases efficiency and reduces energy consumption by up to 15 percent. You should replace them approximately every 90 days, if you don't have allergies, but AC professionals generally recommend every 45 days for maximum efficiency.

Changing your air filter on a regular basis is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling system, but there are other ways to optimize the performance and longevity of your unit. According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), this filtration helps provide healthier indoor air quality. If the air filter is clogged, it can start to create pressure inside your HVAC system, which can force outside allergens into your home. The bottom line is, if the air conditioner feels hot, check for a dirty filter; replacing it should correct the problem. Now that you know the problems that a dirty or clogged air filter can create, you'll want to change yours right away.

With information on topics ranging from heating fuel facts to common air conditioning questions, you can rely on Petro Home Services for facts and information to help you better understand your heating, cooling and home comfort needs.

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