Filter Replacement: The Most Important Factor in AC Maintenance

That’s right! Your air conditioner’s filter is a key factor you should pay attention to when it comes to AC maintenance. Filters remove dust and other particles, a function that helps clean the air, but they also help keep contaminants out of your HVAC system and ducting. At a certain point, the filter is “full” and must be changed. A clogged filter restricts airflow, making your system work harder to operate. Over time, this continuous strain can damage parts of the AC unit. The buildup of dust and dirt on vital components, such as the evaporator coils, also contributes to failure. A struggling cooling system uses more energy, making your electric bill higher than usual.

Filter Replacement: The Most Important Factor in AC Maintenance

The type of filter you install is also important, as well as following the appropriate replacement schedule. If you have a standard fiberglass filter that measures 1 inch thick, a typical routine is as follows:

  • If you live alone, have no allergies, and no pets, you can probably get away with changing your filter only once every 6 to 12 months. The same schedule applies to vacation homes.
  • If you live with family members but have no pets or allergies, change your AC’s filter every 3 months.
  • If you have a pet, we recommend changing the filter every 2 months because of pet hair and dander accumulation.
  • If your family has multiple pets, or if anyone suffers from allergies or asthma, it’s best to change your HVAC filter at least once a month — maybe even as often as every 20 days.

Of course, you may have wanted more effective air cleaning, so you purchased a pleated or electrostatic filter. Pleated filters catch more dust and allergens than fiberglass yet cost less than electrostatic. Electrostatic filters are of higher quality and use static electricity to attract and trap an even greater amount of particles. Some electrostatic filters are washable and reusable, while others are not, so be sure to gain familiarity with your particular brand.

  • Pleated filters should usually be changed once every 3 months.
  • Electrostatic filters must be changed about once per month. Because they’re more efficient, they become clogged faster.

So what’s the best filter replacement schedule for your air conditioner? That will entirely depend on your system and home. A certified HVAC professional from Texas Air Tech can advise you on the perfect routine. Call us today!