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How Often Should I Be Changing My AC Filter?

change ac filter

The life expectancy of your AC filter depends on a few elements within your home. Taking care of your AC on your own is relatively easy, especially if you regularly inspect and maintain the key parts that ensure an efficiently-run system. There are a few factors that can be considered when weighing just how often your AC filter should be changed.

What Affects The Lifespan Of An AC Filter?

Aside from physical elements that affect the lifespan of the filter, you’ll need to consider any allergies that your family carries and their sensitivity to airborne particles. This requires changes every six weeks to ensure your air stays clean. Younger children living in your home or having pets around will require changes every two to three months. There are a few other things to consider:

  • The Size Of Your Home

    The bigger your home, the more space that needs to be cooled and that will require your AC to work harder and longer.

  • Usage Time

    If you’re constantly using your AC, you’ll need to change your filter more often as it has simply collected contaminants at a quicker rate. Constant usage will require a filter change every few weeks, while only running your AC a few hours a day will require a filter change season-to-season.

  • Air Quality

    If you have pets in your home, the air quality is likely to be affected by the hair and other particles that they bring from outdoors. If you’re located in an area with lower air quality, this will clog your filters quicker and require more frequent changes.

How Do I Know It’s Time To Change My AC Air Filter?

Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for these signs before checking on the filter in your home’s AC, however, you will begin to notice a few changes in your home when the filter is under stress.

  • Lowered Indoor Air Quality

    This will be the first sign that your air conditioning system is not running properly and checking the filter is a good place to start. Because the filter keeps impurities out of your home, a clogged filter won’t be able to do so efficiently. This is dangerous for the inhabitants of your home because these contaminants can cause allergic reactions, asthma, or sore throats and congestion.

    Regulating indoor air quality can be ensured through various tests carried out by AC experts like the technicians Art Plumbing, AC and Electric.

  • Abnormal Sounds Or Bad Odors

    It may seem obvious that strange sounds mean that something isn’t functioning properly. However, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to chalk these sounds up to something minor as the system itself seems to function normally. Don’t fall into this trap. Grinding noises or high-pitched squeals could indicate that airflow is being jeopardized due to a backed-up air filter.

    These sounds may be coming from your blower motor which is responsible for moving air through the system. An overworked, overheating blower motor will give off a heated smell, which is an indication that something is clogged. In this case, failing to change the filter can cause more damage than necessary.

  • Longer Running Times

    Because the filter is designed to trap any particles coming into the unit, a dust-laden filter will cause the AC system to run for longer periods of time, attempting to cool the space. As it works harder to cool the air, it puts pressure on your AC which can cause costly damage. If you notice your AC running longer than usual, be sure to assess the state of your air filter.

    Clogged air filters can cause your system to malfunction and damage the elements within the system. The airflow gets stunted and your AC will have to work harder to cool the space in your home. Your electric bill will see a sharp spike in costs and overall energy usage will be affected.

Aside from physical damage, the health of your family is at risk when filters are left to get build up gunk, dust, and germs. With this in mind, keep track of how often you change your HVAC filter. This can form part of a regular maintenance routine that can be carried out by you, or professionals like Art Plumbing, AC and Electric. Don’t wait until you’re left feeling uncomfortable in your home before reaching out for some expert knowledge in taking care of your AC. We’ve been in the business for over 35 years and there’s nothing that scares us!

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