4 Important Facts About Your AC Filter

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Do you like to save money? Of course, you do! Smart homeowners are always looking for a way to reduce their maintenance and utility costs. Left unchecked, many of the costs associated with homeownership can skyrocket out of control. With bills piling up, it can be easy to neglect essential maintenance or to intentionally defer it to save a few bucks. Air filter replacements are not expensive, but many people are reluctant to follow a proper once-per-month schedule. If you've got caught yourself slacking off on filter replacements, these four facts may convince you that your air filter is too important to ignore.

1. Not All Filters Are Created Equal

Filters vary by design, size, and even expected replacement intervals. Thicker filters generally hold up for longer and require replacement less often, but they may not fit all air handler units. Thicker or more restrictive filters also tend to catch smaller particles, but nothing comes for free. These more intense filters also restrict airflow, which can create problems for your ductwork or even other components in your AC system. While swapping out a filter is a simple do-it-yourself project, it is important to consult with a professional before changing the type of filter that you use.

2. Filters Can Greatly Affect Air Quality

The type of filter that you use will determine the size of particles that it catches, but the filter's condition is even more important. As your filter becomes dirty and clogged, more unwanted particles will find their way into your air. This build-up can lead to a home that seems dustier, with a potentially much larger quantity of allergens in the air. If you notice your home's air quality degrading noticeably, then there's a good chance your filter is ready to be replaced.

3. Clogged Filters Can Cause Damage

Believe it or not, air quality isn't the only aspect of your system affected by a clogged filter. As the filter becomes dirty, it further restricts airflow in the system. This restriction puts a greater amount of strain on your blower motor and even on your compressor. Although a clogged filter is unlikely to take down an otherwise healthy system, extending your replacement intervals significant and leaving clogged filters in place can reduce the overall lifespan of your components.

4. Three Months Is Often Too Long

So, if filters are so important, how long should you wait before replacing yours? Common advice is to change your filter every three months, but this is often much too long of an interval. Three months works well for immaculate, pet-free homes, but real-world rooms are messier and have many potential sources of contaminants.

Although it is difficult to provide hard and fast rules for filter replacement, you should check the condition of your filter at least once per month and replace it as needed. This simple maintenance task can potentially save you hundreds of dollars per year in energy bills and even thousands of dollars by helping to ensure the long life of your whole system.

To learn more, contact your local AC maintenance service today.