The only surefire way to know when it's time to replace your air conditioner filter is to check it periodically. To do this, take out the air conditioning filter and hold it up to the light. If you can't see through it, it's time for a new one. A blocked filter interferes with the normal air flow of the air conditioning system and allows dirt to accumulate in the cooling coils, reducing the system's ability to keep you cool.
A clean filter increases efficiency and can reduce energy consumption by up to 15%. Older systems usually use fiberglass air filters, which should be changed every 30 days. Newer systems typically use pleated filters, which are rectangular and about one inch deep. If you don't have allergies, they should be changed every 90 days, but air conditioning professionals usually recommend changing them every 45 days for maximum efficiency.
In general, most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies suggest changing them every 90 days or 3 months. This may vary depending on the location of your home (e.g. dry and dusty climates), if you have pets, and the age of your system and equipment. If you have pets at home, you should consider changing the filter every 60 days or every 2 months, and if you have allergies or respiratory conditions, we recommend changing the filter every 20 to 45 days.
Vacation homes or empty houses that aren't used much can wait to change the filters every 9 to 12 months. Air filters usually have a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) that determines the type and size of contaminants the filter will work against. As air passes through a building's air conditioning system, air filters trap and collect large and small particles, such as dust, allergens, and microorganisms. It can also help your home's heating and cooling system work efficiently and extend its lifespan, while preventing problems with the air conditioning that can be costly to repair. If changing your air conditioner filter doesn't resolve any signs of poor performance, contact a professional HVAC contractor immediately. In general, filters with a MERV 16 rating or lower are considered suitable for residential, commercial, and general hospital use.
For people with chronic conditions such as allergies or asthma, clean filters can alleviate annoying symptoms. Filters with higher MERV indices trap small particles more effectively than filters with lower MERV indices. These air filters act as barriers to prevent contaminants from entering the air conditioning system or circulating through the air. The only type of filters that trap allergens and spores are HEPA, or high-energy particulate air filters. If there's more dust near the vents than usual, it's probably time to change the filter. If you need help choosing the right filter for your system and a professional who can help you change it, call the professionals at Paschal Air, Plumbing & Electric.
With information on topics ranging from facts about heating oil to common questions about air conditioning, you can trust Petro Home Services for facts and information that will help you better understand your heating, cooling and home comfort needs.