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Is it Time to Change Your Air Conditioning Filter?

Although you may recognize the importance of maintaining your air conditioning¬†filter, remembering to make a change may be a little more challenging. Some homeowners add this simple step to their monthly calendars to ensure that they don’t forget, but many leave it up to memory. Unfortunately, it’s easy to forget your filter as you go about your summer activities. Additionally, the need for a change may be greater or less based on issues like climate conditions and household activity. The following guidelines may help you to better manage this important component of your home comfort system.

Pre-Season Preparation

Starting the cooling season with an optimized system is a priority. This should include a tune-up so that you are assured that dirt is removed from your air handler’s components. Dirty coils can result in a restricted airflow and in poor energy exchange. They can also promote the growth of biomaterials in your equipment. Left untreated, this can affect other components like your air filter, resulting in the potential for mold in the filter and in your air supply. Once your system is inspected and fine-tuned, make sure that a clean filter is in place for the start of summer.

How Often Should You Check and Change Your Filter?

A good plan is to schedule a monthly check of your air conditioning filter to ensure that it is still intact and functioning. A change is warranted if:

  • The filter is visibly clogged to the point at which air won’t move through without carrying dust into the air handler.
  • Mold appears to be growing in the filter.
  • Structural elements such as the cardboard exterior of the filter seem to be failing, resulting in bending or buckling of the unit or gaps at the edges.

If you are in doubt, a change is a good idea to ensure that you continue to obtain good system performance. In some cases, experts recommend monthly filter changes regardless of a unit’s condition. If you live in a very humid or very dusty climate, you may want to check your filter each week to verify its condition. If you run your air conditioner non-stop through the summer, you may want to make more frequent checks as well. If your equipment is used minimally during the summer, you should still check monthly to evaluate the filter condition. Inoperative air conditioning can permit moisture and mold issues to increase.

Tap into Technology

Modern thermostats have been developed to provide information about HVAC components, including air filters. Investing in a more advanced system control may allow you to benefit from immediate notification when your filter is ready for a change. You can discuss this option with your technician at the time of your regular maintenance call. As you plan ahead for future updates to your air conditioning equipment, you may want to look for systems that offer such smart controls so that you can monitor issues like indoor air quality along with cooling activity and energy usage. Our experts at Air Conditioning by Luquire are available to assist with your questions when you call.

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