How Often Should You Change Aircon Filter?

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Your air conditioner plays a vital role in maintaining the comfort and air quality in your home. If the air filter is clogged, the functionality of your air conditioning unit may decline, leading to increased energy bills and additional problems.

To keep your air conditioning unit running efficiently and stably, knowing how and when to change aircon filter is fundamentally important. Clean air filters ensure the finest indoor air quality and prevent problems that could lead to expensive repairs or a new unit.

Are Air Conditioner Filters Important?

Think of your air conditioner as the lungs of your home. When your air filter becomes bogged down with dust, your air con’s lungs begin to wheeze, causing higher energy bills and a host of other problems.

To convince you even more, here are several ways how regularly changing your AC filters can improve your home’s indoor air quality:

  • Maintaining Optimal Efficiency

Regularly changing air conditioner filters helps maintain the efficiency of your air conditioning system. A clean filter allows proper airflow, improving the performance of the unit, leading to lower energy consumption and reduced energy bills.

  • Prolonging the Lifespan of Your AC Unit

Replacing your air conditioner filters prevents unnecessary strain on your system. A clogged filter forces the unit to work harder, which may result in a reduced lifespan for your air conditioning system. Regular filter replacement helps keep the unit functioning smoothly and extends its life.

  • Improving Indoor Air Quality

Dirty air filters can adversely affect the indoor air quality of your home. An air conditioner filter is designed to capture airborne pollutants such as dust, pet dander, mould spores, and other contaminants. By regularly changing your air conditioner filters, you can improve indoor air quality, which in turn may reduce allergy symptoms and other respiratory issues.

  • Reducing the Risk of Costly Repairs

Clogged filters are one of the leading causes of air conditioning system breakdowns. When a filter is blocked with dirt and debris, the airflow through the system is restricted, causing the unit to work harder. This strain on the system can cause components to fail, leading to expensive repairs. Regular filter changes help you avoid these unexpected repair costs.

  • Enhancing Your AC Unit’s Performance

If an air filter is dirty and clogged, the unit cannot cool your home effectively. With a clean filter, your air conditioning system is better able to regulate temperature and maintain a comfortable environment. By ensuring your air conditioner filters are clean, you can enjoy better overall performance and a more consistently comfortable home environment.

  • Reducing Dust Build-up

Airborne particles like dust and dirt can accumulate on surfaces around your home when air conditioner filters are not replaced regularly. These particles can aggravate allergies and cause discomfort. By changing your filters regularly, you help minimise the amount of dust and other particles that circulate in your indoor air, leading to a cleaner and healthier living space.

By adopting routine filter maintenance, you can optimise the performance of your air conditioning unit, improve indoor air quality, reduce allergens and contaminants, and save money on energy bills and avoidable repairs.

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Signs It’s Time To Change Filters

Recognising when your air filters need to be exchanged can keep your air conditioner running efficiently, ultimately saving on energy costs and ensuring a healthier and more comfortable living environment.

Following are the key signs to look out for, indicating that it’s time to change your air conditioner filters.

  • Declining Air Conditioner Efficiency

If you notice a fall in your air conditioning system’s efficiency, it could be a sign that your filter needs to change. Performance inefficiency might take the form of your unit struggling to maintain temperature, taking longer to cool down, or cycling more frequently.

  • Rising Energy Bills

If your energy bills are rising and you can’t point to any other discernible reason, it’s time to check your air conditioner filter. Clogged or dirty filters force your AC unit to work harder than usual, leading to higher energy consumption.

  • Visible Dirt or Dust on the Filter

A straightforward sign that your filter needs changing is visible dust, dirt, or obstruction on the filter. If it’s hard to see through the filter when you hold it up against a light, it’s time for a replacement.

  • Unusual Noises

If your air conditioning unit has started to make strange noises, your filter may be the culprit. Blocked filters can cause humming, vibrating, or other odd noises due to hindered airflow through the unit.

  • Respiratory Discomfort or Allergies

If you or any of your family members are experiencing an increase in respiratory discomfort or allergies, a clogged air filter could be a contributing factor. Blocked filters can circulate dust and allergens in your home rather than trapping them.

  • Unpleasant Odours

Unpleasant smells or a musty odour coming from your AC can indicate that your filter needs to be replaced. Over time, filters can trap odours from the environment, and these can be recirculated if the filter isn’t changed regularly.

Monitor for these signs to know when it’s time to change your air conditioner filter for optimal performance, better air quality, and increased comfort in your home.

So, How Often Should AC Filters Be Changed?

Although it can vary based on many factors, a good rule of thumb for how often to replace your air filter is every one to three months. But don’t just take our word for it – check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s instructions.

Factors like using your air conditioning system more often, living in a dusty area, or having pets, might mean you need to change your AC filter more frequently. Disposable filters should be replaced every one to two months, while some air conditioner filters may only need to be replaced every six months.

Remember, air conditioning filters are important for you, your air conditioning unit, and your energy bills.

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How Do I Change the Filter on My Air Conditioner?

While we do suggest hiring a professional, if you want to change your air filter yourself, here’s a quick guide:

  1. Turn off your air conditioner: Before you do anything else, ensure your unit is turned off.
  2. Identify your air return vent: This is where your filter is usually located. On your air return vent, you should find your filter size.
  3. Remove the old filter: Simply slide it out from the slot situated between the return air duct and your air handler.
  4. Check filter condition: If you can see visible dirt or it looks like the cardboard frame holding the filter together is damaged, this is a pretty good sign that it needs replacing.
  5. Insert the new filter: Position the new filter the right way up (look for the arrow showing airflow direction) then, slide it back into place.

Remember to check (and change if necessary) your air conditioner filters every one to three months, and you’ll save on energy and potential maintenance costs.

Can I Change Aircon Filter Myself or Should I Hire a Professional?

The simple answer here is, of course, you can change your AC filter yourself. But it’s critical not to underestimate the importance of professional service when it comes to your air conditioning system.

While going the DIY route might sound like a cinch, mishaps can happen. Especially for ducted air conditioning or a split system air conditioner, it’s far safer and less headache-inducing to leave it to the professionals.

Regular maintenance from a professional will ensure your air conditioners are in good working condition while ensuring that your filter changes aren’t inadvertently causing more harm than good.

Keeping Your Aircon Filter in Top Condition

To clean your air conditioning filter, remove the filter, gently clean it with the soft brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner to rid it of collected dust and debris, and then replace the filter in the unit. Always refer to the owner’s manual for specific cleaning instructions for your specific AC unit.

Regular cleaning of your air conditioner filter and the indoor unit not only increases the efficiency of your cooling unit but also improves your indoor air quality and extends the lifespan of your new filter.

In conclusion, always remember the importance of regularly changing your air conditioner filter, employing professionals for regular maintenance and deep cleaning and keeping your unit performing optimally. These practices will ensure clean air and lower energy bills, whatever heating and cooling system you’re dealing with.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See After Hours Air Conditioning’s Terms & Conditions here.

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