To keep air in your home as healthy and dust-free as possible, it is important that you change your home air conditioner filter when it needs to be replaced. While you may be prepared to take these steps, you may not know exactly when it is time for replacement. If you do it too soon, you may waste money on an unnecessary new filter. Follow the tips below to know when to change your filter.
Know Your Filter
Whether your air conditioner filter should be changed every month or every 6 months will depend on the efficiency of your filter. When you buy filters for your air conditioner, you will need to know how efficient you need your filter to be.
Inefficient Air Filters
Filters that are less expensive, though you can save money in using them, are often less efficient because dust that is not filtered not only becomes re-circulated into your home, but this same unfiltered dust can collect on your air conditioner's evaporator coil, fan, and blower motor, and reduce their efficiency. This reduced efficiency can result in increased costs from additional service calls. These more inefficient filters need to be replaced less often because they collect less dust.
Efficient Air Filters
Filters with a higher MERV rating not only are better at filtering dust, but also remove allergens that can affect you, your visitors, and members of your household who suffer from allergies. For example, if your filter is rated at MERV 12 and is pleated or if it is a HEPA filter or an electrostatic filter, it will collect more dust and should be changed every month.
If you live in a climate where dust is more prevalent, you will need to change your filter more often. Areas such as the Southwest are not only dryer, but also tend to be dustier. You should also consider wind factors. In climates that are dry and dusty and where wind is a factor, you will also have more dust in your home and will need to change your filter more often.
In summer months, when dust is more likely to be present, you will find that you need to change your filters more often. In some climates, you are more likely to get rain in the months of spring than in hotter summer months. In these months, dust will be reduced, along with your need for replacing air conditioner filters.
Air Conditioner Filter Change Indicators
When your filter becomes more clogged with dust, the indicator needle will identify the degree of dust in your home's air. Typically, these indicators, which function on negative air pressure, provide an air dust scale that designates dust degrees from "Clean Filter" to "Change Filter."