How often should I change my air conditioner filter? Sooner or later, everyone ends up asking that question. Some of them ask it right after they are presented with a large repair bill that could have been prevented with a few dollars and a few minutes of work.
The harder you work air conditioner filters, the faster they wear out. Here's how often you should change them.
Vacation home or single occupant and no pets or allergies: every 6-12 months
"Average" suburban home without pets: every 90 days
Add a dog or cat: every 60 days
Add more than one pet or anyone has allergies: 20-45 days
More often that you thought, right? Perhaps. But consider the alternative. Ask yourself "What happens if I don't change my air conditioner filter regularly?"
Here are six bad things that can happen:
Short-Cycling:A dirty air filter can cause your air conditioner to turn off and on or "cycle" more often than it should. This shortens the life of the compressor and other components in the system.
Freezing Up:A dirty air filter restricts cold air flow. That can cause the cold air to build up inside the air conditioner and can lead to ice forming on the coils or other serious problems.
Uneven Cooling:Restricted airflow also has less staying power against heat from the outside. This can lead to hot spots inside your house that face the sun and other uneven cooling spaces within your home.
Allergen Buildup:Those with allergy or respiratory problems need a clean environment. Your air conditioner filter plays a big role in providing that. Allergens can build up in your duct system and cause repeated allergic reactions.
Wear and Tear:Properly maintained air conditioners last longer with regular maintenance. Neglecting a filter change may cause you to replace your air conditioner a year or two sooner or make a costly repair necessary.
Reduced System Efficiency:Causing your air conditioner to run longer and harder to make up for a clogged filter is costing you money on your electricity bill. Air conditioners with dirty filters use much more energy than those that are properly maintained.
Replacing your air conditioner filter is less expensive than costly repairs or replacement of your air conditioner!