5 Air Conditioning Filter Replacement Tips

Filter abstract

(Credit: Wikipedia)

Air conditioning filter replacement is one of the best ways to increase the performance and longevity of your air conditioning system. This often overlooked means of maintaining your unit is one of the chief causes of expensive service calls and can, in time, produce lasting damage to an air conditioner. All air conditioner owners should gather some important information about replacing their air conditioner filter.

The Function of the Filter

The air conditioner filter serves as a means of keeping dust and other particles out of your home. Your air conditioning unit pulls in outside air, cools it and sends it into the home. Before it reaches the cooling phase, however, it is filtered to improve the quality of the air channeled into the home and for the optimal operation of the machine itself. Over time, filters will need to be changed. By doing nothing more than their job, they will grow filthy with the dirt and debris they capture.

Dirty Air Filter

Dirty Air Filter (Photo credit: Ivy Dawned)

A Clogged Filter is Trouble

Once an air conditioner filter becomes clogged or “full,” problems can emerge. First, the air conditioner will have to work much harder to pull in the requisite quantity of outdoor air. In essence, it must suck harder to bring air through the clogged filter. This will shorten the operable lifespan of an air conditioner and will force increased energy consumption and related costs. Prolonged operation with clogged filters may permanent damage or completely incapacitate an air conditioning unit.

Replace or Clean the Filter

This makes it essential for the air conditioner’s owner to replace or clean filters regularly. Minimal time and expense is required to maintain the filters and this relatively simple act can save a great deal on utility bills and can stave off the wholesale replacement of very expensive air conditioner equipment. Washable air conditioning filters are an option if you are concerned about the environment impact of disposable air conditioning filters.

English: Autobacks Pro Air Conditioner Filter ...

Pro Air Conditioner Filter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Choosing a Replacement Filter

When choosing replacement air filters, one should consider both the filtering effectiveness of the product and the level of resistance the filter creates. In a perfect world, one would find a replacement filter that blocked virtually every outside agent from entering the system while simultaneously providing very little airflow resistance. As is so often the case, however, we are forced to abandon our Utopian hopes in search of a workable compromise.

Avoid Cheap Air Conditioning Filters

A cheap filter may offer very little resistance to airflow, but may also do a poor job of actually filtering the air. A heavy duty electrostatic filter on the other hand may produce enviable filtration results but the resistance it creates may decrease your unit’s efficiency. The choice of replacement filter, then, becomes a matter of seeking out the best compromise between filtration and minimal resistance. The answer to the question “which air conditioner filter” is best for me will depend upon the specific unit operated and the circumstances under which it is used. One should consult with someone who specializes in HVAC maintenance and repair for guidance when selecting a replacement filter.

Maintaining your air conditioner properly is the best way to maximize its longevity and cooling power. One critical aspect to maintenance is regular replacement of the air conditioner filter.

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