The Unfiltered Truth About Air Conditioner Filters

Posted on: 11 May 2015


Virtually all air conditioning systems have filters. The filter is normally located in the return grill or within slots at the end of the duct system. You may already know that you're supposed to change the filters on your air conditioner periodically, but you may not really know why you're doing it - or even what the real purpose of the filter is. Read on to learn the unfiltered truth about air conditioner filters.

What Does The Filter Do?

The filter catches dirt particles in the air. This keeps dirt out of your airstream, making the overall quality of your air better.

When Does a Filter Need to Be Changed?

You should change your air conditioner filters once a month during any month that the air conditioner is used.

What Happens When An Air Filter Is Clogged?

The more dirt that an air conditioner filter catches, the more clogged it becomes. As it clogs up, your air conditioner will have to work harder to force the air through the filter. Therefore, clogged air filters equal higher energy consumption. Adding a fresh filter can reduce energy use from 5 to 15 percent. If the filter is severely clogged, your home receives a reduced amount of cold air. A clogged air filter can start sending dirty air into the home, as well.

What Happens If A Filter Is Never Changed?

If a filter is never changed, the dirt will continue to build up until it essentially overflows. When the dirt has no more filter surface to stick to, it will begin to adhere to the evaporator coil of the air conditioner. When your evaporator coil gets saturated with dirt, it will eventually fail. Since an evaporator coil replacement can be very pricey, it makes sense to stay on top of the filter replacements instead.

Can An Air Filter Be Reused?

Most air conditioner filters are not meant to be reused, and should be disposed of as soon as you replace them. However, there is one type of air filter that can be reused. Permanent electrostatic filters can be cleaned and then used again. These washable air filters are typically more costly than their disposable counterparts, but they can last for as long as 10 years. Reusable filters should be cleaned once a month, allowed to dry, and then put back in place.

For more information, contact A/C Repairs, Inc or a similar company.