When Should You Change Your Air Conditioner Filter?

Changing your air conditioner filter not only helps your home's air conditions, it can also save you money. Replacing a clogged air filter with a new one can reduce air conditioner energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent, according to the U. S. Department of Energy.

A clear sign that the AC filter needs to be replaced is when the back of the unit is too hot. If the filter is heavily soiled, you may feel warm air coming out the back of the unit. A clogged filter forces the air conditioner to work harder to keep the house cool. This will lead to more frequent air conditioning repairs and ultimately shorten the life of the unit.

Reduce the load by simply changing the AC filter regularly. ENERGY STAR air conditioning experts recommend changing your air filter at least every three months. Dirt and debris from the filter can obstruct airflow, increasing the workload of the cooling system. By replacing the filter regularly, you can reduce wear and tear on the air conditioner while allowing free air circulation to improve indoor comfort. If you don't change the AC filter, it will start to fail.

You will no longer be able to filter the air properly, allowing dust and contaminants to enter the air conditioner. Dust clogs moving parts of an air conditioner, such as motors and fan valves. Airflow is restricted, creating a strain on the system. This is how dust makes the unit less energy efficient (at best) and can cause breakdowns. If you're a pet owner, you'll want to change the air filter every 2 months, especially when winter turns to spring and summer to fall. The air conditioner filter isn't the most complicated part of an air conditioning system, but it can dramatically affect your efficiency and the air quality in your home.

It's best to change your air filter every month or two, especially if you have pets or live in an area with high pollen content. If you have poor air quality outside or pets indoors, you'll need to replace your air filter more often. If you answer yes to this question, you'll want to change your filter every 6 weeks to maintain the best indoor air quality. A tall MERV filter with a very tight mesh can be too much for some units, resulting in a situation much like a clogged air filter, even right after changing it. However, the smaller the appliance used for cooling, the small space usually comes with smaller filters, so you may need to change the filter as often as a filter in a larger home.

The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) rating for an air filter measures how effectively the filter prevents dust and other contaminants from passing through the filter into the air stream. If the surfaces closest to the vents are more dusty and others seem cleaner, it's a sure sign that the air filter needs to be replaced. It's important to note that there are high-efficiency filters that are designed to filter out small bacterial, mold, and fungal particles, but your standard MERV 8-11 filters will simply block out larger particles of dust, dirt & hair. Air filters are usually made of spun fiberglass (the same as attic insulation) or & pleated paper framed with cardboard for added stability and rigidity. But what happens if you let that time go by a little? Before we talk about WHEN the air filter should be changed, let's start with the WHY. The longer the filter is in place, the more dirt, dust and allergens are trapped, clogging the filter and decreasing its efficiency. It's essential for homeowners to understand when they should replace their air conditioner filters in order to keep their HVAC systems running efficiently and effectively.

Changing your air conditioner filters regularly will help keep your home comfortable while also saving energy costs in both summer and winter months.

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