Summers are just around the corner now and air conditioners are necessary equipment for every household. They provide you with cool and also clean air. The clean air is attributed to the air filter of your AC unit. But, after regular use, the filters get dirty and clogged causing damage to your unit and also your health. So, it is important to know when your air filter is dirty and you need to change it. To know when you need to take action, look for signs that your AC air filter needs to be replaced. Let us have a look at the matter in detail.
Purpose of air filter in AC
The basic function of filters is to capture and filter out pollutants or impurities. Similarly, the air filter of an AC is to filter out the contaminants and particles present in the air inside your home, that are harmful to your health. Air is brought into the AC and when it passes through the filter, the particles are removed from the air, and then the clean air is distributed into the home. Some of the particulates that it filters are:
- Dust and dirt
- Pollen particles
- Mold spores
- Lint and fibers
- Particles of wood, metal, or plaster
- Hair and animal furs
- Bacteria and other microorganisms
After regular use, the filters get dirty and their efficiency decreases. The dirty filters also worsen the quality of air that is passed through the AC for us to breathe. Every filter has a lifespan, after which it is not fit for use.
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5 signs that your AC filter needs to be replaced
Once the filter gets dirty due to regular use for some time, it is important to either clean it or replace it. Most of the filters can not be clean and require replacement. There are 5 types of AC filters and each of them has a different usage life. While some filters are required to be replaced at least once a month, some other filters need to be changed after every three months.
Now we know that every air filter needs to be replaced after a certain time, but one important question remains unanswered i.eWhat are the signs that your AC filter needs to be replaced? Let us dive a little deep and find an answer to this question.
Below listed are the 5 signs that your AC filter needs to be replaced:
- AC system malfunctioning:
If you don’t replace your AC filter on time, the dirty filter can cause certain problems or malfunctioning such as overheating of the system, AC not giving cold air or blowing hot air, warm air coming from the back of the unit, ice freezing on its coils due to trapped cold air inside causing the AC to freeze. All these issues impact the efficiency of the system, and in some cases even renders your system inoperable. If this issue is not taken care of on time, it may cause permanent damage to your AC unit.
- Dirt accumulating near air vents:
If you notice dust and dirt accumulating near or around the air vents in your home, it may be a sign that the air filter of your AC unit is dirty and needs immediate attention. When the filters get clogged due to dirt, it starts releasing the dirt and dust into the system which can accumulate near the air vents. If the area near your air vents is dustier than the areas farther from it, check your air filters. Though dust near ducts or air vents is not necessarily caused due to dirty air filters, it is best to check it out in case your filters need changing.
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- Allergy outburst:
The air filters of your AC unit filter out all the harmful contaminants and pollutants from the air you breathe. But when the filter gets dirty, the pollutants are blown out and distributed in the air inside your home. All the pollens, mold spores, pet dander, and other particles that used to be trapped by the filter, now float freely in the air for you to breathe, causing an increase in allergy attacks. It is worse for people with chronic allergies or asthma.
Image credit: Hippopx
- Hike in energy bills:
When the air filter gets dirty, it starts to interfere with the airflow. A clogged filter restricts the airflow which causes the system to work harder. A dirty filter can also cause dirt to accumulate on the cooling coils affecting the system’s ability to keep the air cool. In this case, there is more pressure on the system to maintain the temperature. Whenever your AC unit has to put more effort, it consumes more energy to do its job. More energy usage means higher bills.
- The filter looks dirty and damaged:
In case you are inspecting your AC unit for something and you notice that your filter doesn’t look too good, it is probably time to get a new one. Sometimes, air filters need to be replaced before their scheduled time based on several factors such as the quality of air that it filters, the size of the house, etc. If your air filter is covered in dirt and debris and/or shows signs of wear and tear such as holes, you better get rid of it immediately.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Air filters are an important component of your AC unit and they can affect your unit’s efficiency drastically. The filters are supposed to provide you with clean air, but if not taken care of properly they can have the opposite effect. Therefore, to stay healthy and increase the efficiency and lifespan of your AC unit, check the air filter regularly and change it on time. Replacing the air filters at the right time can save you a lot of money and effort.