Changing the air filters of an air conditioner is not an easy task to remember given the busy schedules and duties that people have to incorporate into their everyday routines. Normally, an air filter in every air conditioner should be changed or rather replaced every three months. However, it is advisable to change your air filters once every month. It could be done professionally by a qualified HVAC contractor. This is to avoid any complications that may arise due to having an overstayed clogged air filter in your air conditioning unit.
Can we all agree that people tend to need signs to guide them even when the tiny maintenance task might be as easy as replacing the air filters in your air conditioner? It is then quite important to notice when your air conditioning unit is not working properly as it normally does because this might be the system trying to ask you to change its air filters.
Warning signs to help you know when to change your air filters
If keeping track of the time you need to replace the air filters in your air conditioner is an issue, check out the signs below in your air conditioner that will definitely help you know it’s time to change these air filters.
1. Accumulation of dust and dirt around and in the air vents
This is a very common sign that your air filter is dirty and has to be changed. Compare the surfaces close to the air vents and those surfaces that are further away. If you notice that the surfaces nearer to the air vents are dustier it is definitely a warning sign that you need to change/ replace the air filters in your air conditioning unit. Another simpler way to know that the air filter is dirty and needs to be changed is doing a test normally referred to as the white sheet test. When doing this, hang a white sheet that is clean close to one of the air vents for not less than an hour. After sometime, the sheet is expected to turn gray. The more it turns gray the faster you need to change the air filters in the air conditioner.
2. Unexpected huge electricity bills
Filthy air filters that have not been changed for a month or more after capturing dust and dirt fill up eventually. After this happens, the air filter will no longer be able to filter whatever air is going through the air conditioning unit. This allows for the dust to contaminate the AC blocking the moving parts of the air conditioner such as the valves and motor fans. This causes a whole strain in the process of the system which is the reason why electricity bills might start spiking. The air filters might be a small component of the air conditioner but the consequences that may arise from not changing the air filters on time are quite unmeasurable. This is why keeping your air conditioner well maintained makes it more efficient reducing the cost of the power bill.
3. Damaged air filter
A random inspection of the air filter is also quite important. If the air filter is dirty, clogged, or looking unusual it is probably because it is covered in dust and needs to be replaced. Also,you can notice holes or worn-out air filters during this inspection which might be a lead to know its time to replace the air filter.A filter that is compromised in any way should be tossed out and changed immediately.
4. More allergy attacks
On normal occasions, an air conditioning system is aimed at creating an environment safe from the contaminants present in air like pollen and allergens. This, however, is not the case when dealing with an air conditioner with faulty air filters. When an air filter in the air conditioning unit is saturated with pollutants from the air like excessive allergens and pollen, a person who suffers from allergies is most definitely going to experience more allergy attacks. Therefore, if this starts happening to you and the cause is not established, you might want to replace the air filters in your HVAC system because it might be exactly what is causing you more harm than good.
5. Air being circulated is not cold enough
An air conditioning unit in its right condition should serve the sole purpose of cooling the air in your home. So consider a case where it is really hot in the summer and your air conditioner is blowing off warm air leaving you in a state of discomfort and frustration in your own house. This might be a problem contributed to by various issues in the air conditioning unit. It could probably be a dirty air filter that would not allow the cool air from the air conditioner to pass. In such a case, contact an HVAC technician who will help you change the air filters and also check out any other issues in your air conditioner.
6. The back of the air conditioner is too hot
Having a very dirty filter in your air conditioner is quite unpleasant. When the filters tend to overstay in an air conditioner, they get clogged. In return, this will force the air conditioner to strain when turned on leading to the emission of hot air from the back of the air conditioner. This eventually, causes the air conditioner to undergo so many repairs shortening its life span.
It is very important to mention that a dirty air filter might not always be the cause of most of the above-listed problems but we cannot just fail to accept that a dirty filter is a contributing factor to the problems. Some of these signs might just pass without you noticing so it is necessary sometimes to use your instincts when it comes to deciding the right time to replace or change an air filter I would even recommend setting a date or an alarm in your calendar just to remind you that “it is time to change the air filter.