The importance of changing your air conditioning filter

Before you turn up your AC, you might want to check to make sure the filter is clean. Did you know that indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental health risks? Changing your air conditioning filter is the most important thing a homeowner can do to keep the unit running properly.

While air conditioning units may vary, in general it is a good rule of thumb to replace your unit’s filter every 30 to 60 days. And it is easy to do. A quick inspection can generally alert you to whether or not the filter needs to be replaced. The filter acts as a barrier between unwanted dust, dirt pollen and debris.

Clogged, dirty filters block the normal air flow and reduce the unit’s efficiency. Having a clogged or dirty air filter means the air will bypass the filter and may carry dirt or allergens directly into the evaporator coils. This can result in a reduction of heat-absorbing capacity. The dust that is not collected by the filter gets distributed back into your home. Keeping your air filter clean can reduce your air conditioner’s energy consumption by five to 15 percent.

Changing your air conditioning filter is easy. In most homes, the filters are located near the main unit, which is typically in your hallway or on the ceiling in the return air duct. The return air duct is where the air is pulled in from inside the home. Typically, you just pop the latches and remove the metal screening. It’s lightweight and easy to remove and slide back in.

Make sure you have the correct air filter size. Check the number label on the filter’s side. Have more than one filter on hand. That way it will save you a trip to the hardware store. Also, don’t forget to clean off the dust on the metal grill. Once you insert the filter, close the metal grill and reattach it.

Your air conditioner is no different than your car, which runs best on clean oil. Your AC unit runs best when it has a clean filter. Changing your air conditioning filter is the easiest thing to do to keep your cooling system running clean and efficiently and it will reduce maintenance costs and extend the life of your system!

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