When Should You Replace Air Conditioner Filter?
As a homeowner, one of the most important maintenance tasks you can do is replace your air conditioner filter regularly. This puts strain on the AC system as it has to work to push air through the blocked filter in order to cool your home effectively.
Restricted airflow can lead to issues, such, as increased electricity bills due to prolonged AC operation damage to components like the blower motor reduced cooling capacity, formation of ice on the evaporator coils and even complete system failures.
By replacing filters you restore airflow. This allows the AC system to operate at its efficiency with costs and minimal strain.
To summarize changing filters is crucial for maintaining airflow and ensuring smooth operation of your cooling equipment throughout the summer. Now lets explore how you can determine when it’s time to replace your filter.
Signs Indicating a Need for AC Filter Replacement
There are some signs that indicate your air conditioner filter is clogged and needs replacement;
- Reduced airflow from the vents. Check if there is airflow by placing your hand near a vent. Weak air movement suggests a filter.
- Stuffy or musty smell, in your home. If you notice musty odors it could mean that dirt and debris trapped in the filter are being circulated through your ducts.
- Cooling bills. If you find yourself running your AC constantly just to maintain desired temperatures it’s likely an indication that your filter needs changing since dirty filters tend to waste energy.
Noisy operation. If you notice any sounds, like humming, buzzing or wheezing coming from your AC it could be a sign that the airflow is restricted and putting strain on the system.
Excess moisture build up. When you have humidity and see condensation dripping from your vents it’s likely because there isn’t enough airflow to properly remove the moisture.
filter. Take out your filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light passing through most of the filter then it’s definitely time to replace it.
By staying observant of these warning signs and checking your filters on a basis you can easily determine when its time to swap in an one.
Recommended Frequency for AC Filter Replacement
HVAC experts typically recommend replacing AC filters every 30 90 days during peak cooling season when systems are running constantly to maintain comfort. The hot and humid summer weather causes filters to accumulate contaminants at a rate.
During milder weather or winter months when you use your air conditioner frequently you may only need to replace filters every 3 6 months since debris accumulates at rates when AC usage is lower.
The ideal frequency for filter replacement depends on factors;
How often and how long you run your air; More usage means more dust and dirt gets trapped.
The presence of pets such, as cats, dogs, birds, etc.; More dander and hair accumulate, requiring removal. The amount of foot traffic, in your home can lead to more dust being stirred up and circulated in the air. Additionally having carpeting, drapes and other fabrics in your home makes it easier for dust and dirt to get caught and released into the air. If you live near sources of contaminants like fields, roads or construction sites it’s likely that more debris will find its way indoors.
To ensure performance it is recommended to check your filter on a basis and replace it based on its actual condition rather, than following a fixed schedule. Let the filter itself indicate when it needs to be swapped out.
When selecting a replacement filter you generally have two options;
- Filters; These are the common type made of layered synthetic fiberglass or polyester media. They effectively trap debris but cannot be washed or reused; they must be completely replaced. The affordability of disposal makes them a popular choice.
- Washable reusable filters; Typically made of aluminum mesh or foam these filters can be cleaned by washing with water and mild detergent allowing them to be reused times before needing replacement. Although they may cost upfront compared to filters their reusable functionality can result in long term cost savings.
For homes disposable filters are sufficient. However if you anticipate changing your filters reusable washable filters can offer cost savings in the run.
However it is important to clean filters in between uses to prevent them from spreading accumulated dirt and dust back, into your ductwork. Regardless of the type of filter always replace ones that hinder airflow.
Choosing the Right Replacement AC Filter
When purchasing a filter make sure to get one that matches the size of your filter for a proper fit. If you’re uncertain about the size measure the length, width and depth of your existing filter. Standard sizes often include dimensions like 12”x24”x1″ 16”x25”x1″ or 20”x25”x1”.
You can also consider opting for a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating to capture smaller particles. However keep in mind that higher density filters may restrict airflow so ensure that your AC unit has power to push air through these high MERV filters. As a guideline it’s best to stick with filters that’re 1 inch thick or less to avoid excessive resistance. If you plan on increasing the rating do so gradually over several changes rather than all at once.
Where to Purchase Replacement AC Filters
Fortunately replacement air conditioner filters are readily available at online retailers;
Hardware stores such, as Home Depot, Lowes and Ace Hardware usually stock common furnace filter sizes.
Grocery stores, department stores and supercenters also sell filters both in store and online.
Buying products online from retailers such, as Amazon, Walmart, Target and others is a way to get your purchases delivered straight to your doorstep.
When it comes to your AC system your HVAC company can offer recommendations for filters that are specifically designed for your equipment and home.
If you’re looking to buy filters in bulk HVAC wholesalers provide packs at discounted prices for quantities.
To ensure you find the filters at the prices it’s always a good idea to compare different options. Purchasing replacements at once can help you avoid running out before its time for a replacement.
Here is a step by step guide on how to replace your AC filter yourself;
- Prioritize safety by turning off the power to your AC system at the breaker panel before accessing any components.
- Remove the filter by either sliding it out or releasing it from clips, screws or a ductwork door.
- Check if there is an airflow direction arrow on the filter and align the filters arrow accordingly.
- Carefully insert the filter into place. Make sure it fits tightly around the edges, for optimal air sealing.
- Put back any retaining screws, clips or doors to prevent air from bypassing the filter.
- Restore power. Turn on your AC system again.
- After a minutes check if theres airflow by examining the output from your vents.
By following these steps and taking precautions you can easily replace your AC filter without much hassle or difficulty.Remember to replace all filters in filter systems. It’s important not to try extending the lifespan of a filter. It’s better to replace it early to ensure optimal efficiency of your AC.
Why Hiring Professionals, for Filter Replacement is Important
If your filter is difficult to access, such as in an attic furnace or tight crawlspace it’s advisable to have an HVAC technician handle the replacement process. This ensures access. Reduces any potential risks. Many companies also offer filter subscription and auto delivery programs, which can save you time.
Professionals can make sure that your new filter fits tightly within the equipment and inspect the systems operation afterward ensuring an uninterrupted airflow.
The Significance of Regular AC Filter Replacement
Although it may seem like a task staying on top of filter replacement offers significant benefits;
- Lower energy. Reduced electricity bills due to improved efficiency of your AC system.
- Restored cooling capacity and stronger airflow that keeps your home comfortable.
- Reduced strain on components like the blower motor and compressor resulting in operation.
- Less dust, pollen and allergens circulating through your air for air quality.
- Avoiding repairs or even replacements for your AC system caused by damage, from dirt accumulation.
- Eliminating stale odors caused by debris buildup in neglected filters.
- Extended lifespan of your air conditioning system.
Like how you need to change the engine oil it is important to replace the filters in order to maintain proper AC functionality throughout the entire season. Make sure to check them every month and replace them with ones soon as they become dirty. You can refer to your owners manual. Consult an HVAC technician to determine the schedule, for replacing filters based on your cooling needs and home requirements. By maintaining your filters you can ensure that you have indoor air quality and save energy during the summer months!
Schedule an AC Checkup and Filter Replacement Today!
If your air conditioner filter needs replacement or if you want a technician to inspect your system get in touch with Turbo AC Repair. We provide maintenance services and filter replacements to ensure that your AC operates at its best throughout the summer season. Call (281) 626 5938 now to schedule an AC tune up and have a new filter installed! Proper maintenance will keep your home comfortable and energy efficient when temperatures soar.