South Texas summers can be steamy and you will likely be using your air conditioner every day until fall. One question many people have is how often they should change the A/C filter. During high usage, the answer changes compared to milder months.
Changing the Filter in Summer
No matter the type of A/C filter you use, you should check it at least once a month this summer to see if it should be changed. When an air conditioner is running throughout the day and evening, air is circulating at a greater volume through the air filter than during times of limited A/C usage. This means that filters will become dirtier faster.
If you are using the flat, single-panel, fiberglass filters, you should certainly expect to change them each month that your air conditioner experiences high usage. Pleated filters sometimes last a little longer because of the pleats. Nevertheless, you should make sure to check them every month so you can replace them when they are covered with dust.
Why it Must be Done
The point of an air filter is to protect the system from dust and to promote better air quality in the home. However, a dirty filter can be as bad as having none at all. Not enough air can move through clogged filters and this can harm your air conditioner. When some of the debris on the filters is eventually forced into the A/C, it can cause serious issues such as fan motor burnout and dirty coils or frozen coils, which reduces cooling capacity. Rather than risk system failure, dirty air and expensive repairs, it is much wiser to purchase fresh filters.
If you are not sure what counts as dirty, err on the side of safety. If the surface is covered with dust or clumps of dust or debris have formed on one section, then throw the filter out. Make this easier to do by keeping replacement filters on hand and visible.
For more information about changing your air filters, please contact us at CCAC.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Steve Heap/Shutterstock”