As you probably already know, the health of your air conditioning systems depends on the condition of the filters. Dirty filters lower the system’s efficiency and contribute to the entire unit’s maintenance issues. The filter is a fine mesh located just below the front board of the air conditioner. Its main work is purifying the air by trapping dirt, dander, and dust. To keep your appliance working properly, swap the filters every couple of months, otherwise your air conditioner will malfunction and your energy bills skyrocket.
How often should you change your filters? For a suburban home without pets, changing the filters every 90 days will do just fine. However, if you keep a cat or a dog, change the filers after every 60 days. The number of days goes lower if your filter traps more dirt. For instance, if one of your house members has allergies yet you keep pets, your air filter shouldn’t go beyond 45 days. Of course, the quality of your air filters also accounts for how regularly they need changing. Cheaper fiberglass filters should be changed every 30 days while the higher-end pleated filters can go for up to 6 months.
This said, if your air filters are always extremely dirty yet you change them regularly, there could be an underlying reason why they get dirty so fast. As aforementioned, cost determines quality in regards to air filters. Normally, the pricier air filters have a high (MERV) rating; the higher the rating, the better the quality. A high MERV rating means that the filter can hold pollutants better and longer so naturally, you don’t need to keep changing them as regularly as those with a lower rating. When purchasing air filters, MERV rating of between 6 to 8 is a better choice since it balances between good air flow and good quality. Unless have a very high-efficiency AC,
very high MERV ratings are likely to slow the air flow in your air conditioning unit
Fan mode set to “ON” instead of ‟AUTO” will dirty the filters faster. Your air conditioning technician has probably mentioned to you that you should keep your thermostat set to AUTO instead of ON. If your AC system is set on AUTO, it means the fan turns on automatically but only when your system is heating or cooling your air. Once the thermostat reaches the set temperature, the fan shuts off. On the other hand, ON means that the fans blow throughout even when your cooling system isn’t. The implication of this is high energy bills and more wear and tear on the filters as they’re likely to get dirtier faster.
The other reason your air filters may be getting dirty so fast is an introduction of more air pollutants in the house. Did you take up a new construction project in the home? the building materials will definitely add more pollutants in the air overworking the filters. Contaminants could be anything from hair sprays to pet furs.
If you neglect to swap your air filters, don’t get surprised when your AC bills shoot up by 5% to 15% from the normal. And this is not the only thing, a filthy filter will shorten the lifespan of the whole system besides contaminating the air with harmful microorganisms. Basically, a filthy air filter can only blow out filthy contaminated air. To keep your air conditioning systems in check, regularly replace the air filters.