The Importance of Changing Air Filters

A homeowner changing an air filter in a vent on the ceiling of his home.

The AC air filters in your home unit are often overlooked as they seem to be nothing special. But they are some of the most crucial components of maintaining a properly running air conditioning unit, especially in the heat of Florida. In this article, we discuss in detail what exactly air filters do and why something seemingly minor as filter replacement is important in AC maintenance.

 

What Does an Air Filter Do?

The primary function of an air filter is to clean the air that constantly circulates through the heating and cooling system. Air filters are usually made of a pleated cloth or paper or spun fiberglass, enclosed in a frame. While filtering, these trap several contaminants and particulate matter that may otherwise impact your health and comfort negatively. When the air from the room is brought into the AC system for cooling and redistribution, the filtration takes place. Some of the things that are filtered out are as follows-

  • Dirt and dust, including metal, wood, and plastic particles
  • Pollen particles
  • Lint and fibers
  • Mold spores
  • Animal fur and hair
  • Bacteria and other microorganisms, etc.

How Often Should You Change Filters?

The frequency of changing your air filters as part of AC maintenance depends on several factors. However, it is considered to be a good practice to check your filters every month against a light source and change them every 90 days. For a home with pets like dogs or cats or someone with allergies, changing the filter every 30 to 60 days will ensure better air quality. Sometimes, for a vacation home or a house with single occupancy and no pets, changing the filter every 6 months may also suffice.

What are the Negative Impacts of Not Changing Filters on Time?

Here are some of the negative impacts that occur if you neglect to change your AC air filters on time.

1. Short-Cycling of the AC unit

Your Ac is meant to cycle off and on throughout the day to maintain the desired temperature. However, a dirty air filter can cause these cycles to become shorter, thus affecting the ambient temperature, wasting more energy and making more noise.

2. Improper Cooling

A dirty air filter results in restricted airflow, thus causing uneven cooling. You may find spots that are hotter than ideal in your home, thus resulting in higher energy consumption with less than perfect outcomes.

3. Freezing of the AC unit

When the air filter gets dirty, it does not allow the clean air to flow freely out of the unit. This causes a build-up of the cool air in the unit, eventually lowering the internal temperature. If the filter is not changed for a prolonged period, this can even result in the internal coils to freeze up eventually.

4. Accumulation of Allergens

An unclean air filter causes harmful allergens and contaminants to build-up in the ducts. This is especially harmful to kids and people susceptible to allergies or for those who suffer from asthma. These allergens get released into the air of the house and the occupants end up breathing them. Mold allergies also similarly spread from the air ducts.

5. Reduced System Efficiency

Needless to say, all the above implies that an unclean or clogged air filter reduces the efficiency of your AC units drastically. This further results in increased power consumption with poorer overall cooling. Thus changing air filters regularly is paramount to maintaining the optimum efficiency of your installed AC units.

AC Repair in Florida

If you are on the lookout for services like AC maintenance, search no further than American Air Cares. Our licensed, insured and highly experienced professionals are your best bet when it comes to regular AC maintenance. We take care of all AC repair needs, including timely filter change so that you can have a hassle-free time to enjoy with your near and dear ones. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we may help you with your requirements.