One of the only maintenance tasks a homeowner needs to take care of to keep the air conditioner running properly is changing the unit's air filter.
How often you need to change your unit's air filter can vary depending on a variety of factors. You'll need to change your filter more often if you have pets or if someone in your house smokes. In general, you can assume that a heavily used air conditioner unit will require a new filter bi-monthly during the hottest part of the year. Contact a professional like #1 Air Source if you have questions about how often you should change your filter.
The following are the four major reasons why it's so important to regularly change your unit's air filter:
To protect the quality of your home's interior air
If air is forced through a dirty air filter, it is likely to pick up some of the contaminants that are stuck in the filter as it passes through. These contaminants will then begin circulating around the home via the HVAC ducts. They will be breathed in by the home's residents and guests.
Among the contaminants that typically get caught in air filters are allergens like pollen and pet dander. These contaminants in the air can aggravate respiratory conditions and compromise the health of the home's residents.
To maintain your air conditioner unit's efficiency
Air conditioner components will have to work harder and consume more energy to cool a home's air if the air filter is clogged. This means that they will consume more energy than they should. A dirty air filter therefore detracts from the unit's efficiency and will cost the homeowner more in utility bills over time.
To avoid mechanical problems in your air conditioner unit's components
A variety of mechanical problems can develop because of a clogged air filter. If the unit's air filter is clogged, heat won't easily be transferred across various mechanical components.
An air conditioner with a clogged filter will have to work extra hard. This means that there will be excessive wear and tear on just about every component. The air conditioner components that are most likely to malfunction because of a dirty filter are the blower fan motor and the evaporator coils.
To keep your home safe
As air conditioner components must work harder to force air through a clogged air filter, they become susceptible to overheating. In extreme cases, this could create a safety hazard by causing a fire to start in the home.