It’s one of the most often neglected, but absolutely vital chores you have – checking and changing your AC system filter.  That filter is tucked away in a utility closet, in the garage, or somewhere else out of sight.  As a result, it’s very easy to forget about!

Your system’s filter serves one primary purpose:  protecting the machine.  Not removing allergens and providing clean air in your home – as you may have thought.  That can be a secondary benefit if you use filters rated for that purpose.

Taking Care of your AC System:

Filters are positioned in your system to catch dirt and debris before it reaches:

  1. The temperature regulating part of your equipment – the coil that carries refrigerant, and the heater or furnace burners
  2. Your air handler’s blower motor – the part of the system that moves air through your entire home

It’s vital that both of these components of your system be kept as clean as possible.  If they collect dust and dirt, they become much less efficient at doing their job.

Taking Care of YOU:

Changing your filter regularly benefits you personally in a few ways:

  1. Your comfort:  If you suffer from allergies or conditions that make you sensitive to particulates in the air – you might already use a filter rated to catch those smaller particles.  Keep in mind that the more the filter filters – the faster it clogs, and the sooner it needs to be replaced.  If you’re using an HVAC filter with a MERV rating higher than 8: check your filter at least monthly to see if it needs to be replaced.
  2. Your energy bills:  If your air filter is clogged – it’s not letting the proper amount of air flow through your system.  This restriction in airflow means that your system has to run longer than it would otherwise would need to, to keep your home cool.
  3. Your investment:  If your AC system is routinely required to run more often and longer than it needs to – its full service life will be shorter than a system that gets to run efficiently without the restriction of a clogged air filter.
Checking Your Air Filter

If you can see that it has become a medium gray color from the collection of dust and dirt – it’s time to change it.  If it’s dark gray – you needed to change it a while ago!