When is it Time to Replace Your AC Filter? - An Expert's Guide

It's easy to tell when it's time to replace your air conditioner filter - the filter looks dirty or clogged, it takes longer to heat or cool the house, and a clogged filter interferes with the normal air flow of the air conditioning system. Not only does a clean filter increase efficiency and reduce energy consumption by up to 15 percent, but it also prevents dirt from accumulating in the cooling coils, which impairs the system's ability to keep you cool. As an expert in air conditioning systems, I recommend visually inspecting the filter every month. After a few months, you'll get an idea of how quickly it gets dirty. You'll need to re-evaluate if you have a new pet or if the outdoor air quality has been poor.

In general, most air filter manufacturers and air conditioning companies suggest changing it every 90 days or 3 months. This can change 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 in the case of homes with several pets or people with allergies or respiratory conditions, I recommend changing the filter every 20 to 45 days. Usually, vacation homes or empty houses that aren't used much can wait to change the filters every 9 to 12 months. The general consensus is that the more you use your home, the more often you'll need to replace your air filter.When it's time to replace your home air filter, you will no longer be able to filter the air properly, allowing dust and contaminants to enter the air conditioning system.

It is usually necessary to replace your home air filter once every one to six months, with an average of every three months. However, some air conditioning systems have filters inside the return air ducts scattered throughout several rooms in the house. These air filters act as barriers to prevent contaminants from entering the air conditioning system or circulating through the air. When you buy a new air filter, you'll find the manufacturer's recommendations for the replacement program. In general, filters with a MERV 16 rating or lower are considered suitable filters for air conditioning systems for residential, commercial, and general hospital use.

It would be easier to change all air filters on a set schedule, but sadly, there are a lot of variables that influence how often a filter should be changed. If the air filter is clogged, it can start to create pressure in the air conditioning system, which can cause external allergens to enter the home. Having an air conditioner maintenance contractor inspect and clean ducts can help improve both efficiency and air quality. Pleated filters are usually better than non-pleated filters, as they allow more surface area to accumulate dust, pet hair, and other debris that floats in the air. If you have allergies, you can reduce symptoms by using a high-quality air filter and adopting a more frequent replacement program. When the temperature rises, Lighthouse Mechanical Heating and Cooling helps you stay cool with services that optimize your air conditioning system.

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