How often should you change your air conditioner filter?

Exploring how often your air conditioner filters need to be changed based on the living circumstances of the house and the air quality both inside and outside.

Your air conditioning system is made up of inside components that each have a specific function when it comes to how your air conditioner functions and how well it performs. If one of these components is not in good working condition, your AC will be affected.

The air filters in an air conditioner are one such component and they have a role to play when it comes to the quality of air your unit releases. These filters have a lifespan and need to be replaced routinely.

Changing air conditioner filters

The filters in your air conditioner are critical for the flow of air through your unit and the condition of the air filters significantly impact how well your air conditioning system works, how well the air flows through the air conditioner, and the quality of the air.

This is why your air filter is an important part of the air conditioner. Air filters need to be maintained well and part of this involves changing the filters when necessary.

How often should you change your air conditioner filter?

Now some people may wonder how often they need to change the air conditioner filters of their air conditioning system. The answer to this depends on a variety of things.

The first factor is the type of filter you use. Standard one to three-inch filters need to be changed every 30 to 60 days if you are allergy-free, but if you are more prone to allergies, it is necessary to change the filters more often.

How often your air conditioner runs also affects the air filter as this will determine how much wear and tear the unit has and how much dust and debris the filter has collected over time.

Another factor would be if you have pets around the house that are prone to shedding hair. This could lead to an accumulation of dust and dirt in the filter, giving you between 30 and 90 days to change the filter.

The overall size of your home or the room in which your unit is located is also another factor to consider. The larger your home is the quicker your filter is likely to collect dirt and dust.  The outside environment of your home can also determine how often you need to change the filters.

Furthermore, the amount of pollution immediately outside your home can also affect the lifespan of an air conditioner filter and if pollution levels are high, your filter should be changed every 30 to 60 days.

All of these are factors that determine the state of your air conditioner filters.

How will you know when the filter needs to be changed immediately?

Your air conditioner will show signs that an urgent filter change is needed, and you need to pay attention to these signs to avoid complications. Wheezing sounds indicate that the filter is clogged up, meaning that it cannot get enough air flowing through it.

A musty odour coming from the unit may also be an indicator of a dirty air filter. If you notice that the airflow is not sufficient, this can be an indication of an air filter issue, and in this case, a dirty filter is likely what is blocking the air.

Steps to take to know when to change the air filter

To check the condition of your air filter, inspect it after 30 days of having it installed. If the filter has only a fine layer of dirt and debris, then it is likely still okay.

The fiberglass filters do not filter well until they do have a bit of debris on them, so allow this to happen to a certain extent.

If debris is building up, check it after another 15 days, hold it up to light and if no light reflects through it, it is time for a replacement.

Finding the right air conditioner filter

Finding the right type of air filter replacement for your air conditioner will also depend on the type of filter your air conditioner has, and the size and dimensions of the filter.

Amazon, a popular online retailer, has air HVAC air filters and the Filtrete MERV 8 HVAC pleated filter may be a good choice for you, as the pleated design is said to capture more harmful particles.

This filter also prolongs the lifespan by more than three times that of fiberglass filters. If you are unsure of the type of filter your unit needs, call the manufacturer and they will be able to give you some guidance.

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