Your air conditioner’s (AC) filters are the thin sheets sitting behind each intake register. These filters can be thick and in the shape of an accordion, or they can see-through like cheesecloth. Whatever shape your filter takes, it plays an essential role in your AC unit’s ability to cool your home and keep contaminants out of your air. However, your filter must be replaced regularly to accomplish these tasks effectively.
Below we’ll discuss the top five signs your filters are due for replacement, and what actions you can take to ensure your AC unit is keeping your home cool and your air clean.
The Top 5 Signs Your AC Filter Needs to be Replaced
1. More Allergy Symptoms
Those with allergies should be extremely proactive when it comes to changing their AC unit’s air filters. The filter is designed to catch all of the dust, pollen, and pet dander that cause allergy attacks. However, when the filter becomes clogged with allergens, their only place to go is back out into the air in your home. As a result, you’ll have lower quality air and more allergic reactions.
A clean AC filter can be the difference between a comfortable home and a miserable one for allergy sufferers, so make sure to have your filter swapped out regularly. If you replace your filter and still have symptoms, consider adding an air purifier. Air purifiers are proven to decrease pollen and other allergens in the home.
2. Your AC Unit Is Hotter Than Normal
When the back of your AC unit is too hot, this is a telltale sign that your AC filter needs to be replaced. The longer your filter is in use the more it fills with dirt, grime, and bacteria. This leads to clogging, which forces your air conditioner to work much harder to keep your house cool. If the filter is dirty enough, you may even feel warm air coming out of the back of the unit, which is the opposite of what you want on a hot summer day.
Left to itself, a dirty filter will overwork your AC unit and shorten its lifespan. Save yourself that headache by changing your AC filter regularly.
4. Your Home Isn’t Cooling Down
If your air conditioner is on and your house is not cooling as it should you may have a problem with the filter. In all likelihood, your AC unit is producing cool air, but that air is being stifled by the clogged filter, leaving you uncomfortable inside your home.
However, if your AC unit is not producing cool air, the air filter may not be the problem. You should have an experienced HVAC service technician investigate the problem and perform the necessary maintenance in either case.
5. Higher Than Normal Electricity Bills
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason when your electricity bills start to climb out of the normal range. It could be a malfunctioning appliance, an AC system that is due for maintenance, or both.
Your first course of action should be to check your AC unit’s air filter. A dirty air filter can cause your AC unit to work harder than usual, which requires more electricity. However, you can avoid this issue altogether with preventative AC maintenance, which keeps your HVAC system well-maintained and your energy bills low.
5. Dust Build-Up Near the Vents
If you find dust on surfaces and furniture near your air vents, this is another clue that your air filter needs replacing. To know for sure, compare the surfaces near your vents to surfaces farther away. If the surfaces near the vents are dustier, it’s time for a replacement.
Another way to determine if your air filter is dirty is the “white sheet test.” To perform this test, hang a clean white sheet six inches away from one of your air vents for one hour. If the sheet turns gray, it means your filter is clogged, your AC unit is circulating dirty air, and it’s time to take action.
Ready to have your filters replaced and your AC unit inspected? Speak to one of our friendly AC professionals today.