The air filter in your air conditioner is not a useless component, as most of you may think. It is a critical component in maintaining indoor air quality. If you happen to be one of those who don’t really care about the type of air you and your family members breathe, yes, it may seem unnecessary. Nonetheless, considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, that assumption might be your downfall.
So, have you checked your AC air filter lately? If not, now might be the right time to take matters into your hands and see to its condition. Even though it is a part of the AC, air filters are easy to handle. In fact, most homeowners tend to replace them on their own to maintain healthy air indoors.
Since you are new to the fact that AC air filters need to be checked, let’s begin with the basics. This will help you become more confident in taking care of it whenever there is a requirement.
AC Air Filter – Purpose
The purpose of the air filters is to snare the plethora of pollutants present in the air. It prevents them from coming back into circulation. Hence, the indoor air becomes cleaner and more hygienic. Let’s try to understand it practically. In HVAC systems, the air filters are installed in the “Return Air Ducts.” These ducts pull in the warm indoor air and push it towards the AC for cooling. In the absence of air filters, the return air ducts would pull in air contaminants and all and send it right back indoors after cooling. So, the indoor air quality will constantly deteriorate with no respite in sight.
AC Air Filter – Types
Typically there are two types of air filters. These are:
1. Disposable Air Filters – These air filters are easy to identify as they usually have a cardboard edge. Once dirty, you cannot wash them as the cardboard would disintegrate, and the filter would no longer fit properly. Since they are relatively cheap, it is best to replace them every time.
2. Washable Air Filters – These air filters are much more sturdy. One can use them repeatedly after washing whenever they become dirty. These also happen to be costlier, so care needs to be taken when cleaning them.
AC Air Filter West Palm Beach – When To Change Them?
One of the most confusing aspects of air filters pertains to changing them. When should one change the air filters? If you want to go by the rule of thumb, you should change them every month, like clockwork.
Some of you might say, “My air filters don’t look dirty enough to be changed after a month. Should I still change them”? Well, the answer is, if they are not dirty, you can wait for a few more days. The idea is to find out the time period within which your air filters start looking unclean. So it would be best if you kept a strict eye on their appearance. Once they start looking dirty, change them ASAP. Critical is to remember that you should not wait for them to become wholly clogged because then it will start taking a toll on your cooling system.
AC Air Filter West Palm Beach – Who Should Change Them?
This may surprise some of you, especially when you are repeatedly told not to try any DIY tactics on your air conditioner. The truth is you can change the air filter yourself. There is no rocket science involved. Most air filters are clip-on, sliding, or screw types. If you are not sure how to proceed, you can ask your local HVAC technician to show you how to do it. After that, it’s your choice to either do it yourself or to call a technician.
Important Thing To Keep In Mind While Getting Replacement Air Filters
If you go to the hardware store to buy replacement air filters, don’t buy the ones that take your fancy. You have to be careful in the selection as it needs to match your HVAC system. Look at the label on your existing air filter for relevant information. Your new filters should be of the same size and MERV rating. A lower MERV will reduce the air filter’s capacity to clean the air, and a higher MERV will put your system under strain. Similarly, buying a different size of the air filter will pose a problem in fixing it in the given slot. Hence, it is crucial to ensure that your new air filters are of the same configuration as the old ones.
If you have some doubt regarding the old air filters’ correctness, you should contact your technician to inspect them and give their verdict. In this manner, even if your existing filter is not correct, at least the new ones will be.
Air filters are not worthless. They help keep the air you breathe clean. Therefore, one should always be vigilant in changing them as soon as they appear to get dirty. If left as-is, the filters will get clogged and stop cleaning the indoor air. Also, dirty air filters force your air conditioner to work under pressure, which is not good for its longevity and reliability. Change the filter every month for the best experience.
If you are not comfortable changing or cleaning your AC air filter, feel free to call your friendly neighborhood HVAC technicians at Aztil Air Conditioning. We are a West Palm Beach-based HVAC contractor who offers a full suite of services for your heating and cooling system. Installations, repairs, and maintenance of any brand and make of HVAC system is our forte. We also carry out duct cleaning and offer indoor air quality solutions. Our technicians are well-versed in their jobs and can handle any situation. They have ample on-the-job experience. Hence, you needn’t worry about the safety of your equipment. We even offer emergency services and are always reachable at +1-888-729-8452.