Air filters carry out a very important role in the performance of the air conditioning system. As a matter of fact, it is one of the most important parts in the machine, due to its multiple tasks. It cleans the air as it enters in the A/C equipment preventing dirt, dust, pollen and another airborne particles entering at home thought the system. Replacing them could be something that can be easily forgotten. A lot of house holders even ignore its existence and a long period of time can go pass without paying any attention to the maintenance. Therefore, it is vital to understand the importance of replacing it, both for the machine and for our health.
An air conditioner filter should be replaced depending on its use and requirements. A house air conditional system would need a filter replacement every month or two, and for some systems in the commercial industry, which operate in a range of twenty four hours, the filter should be replaced every two weeks. Don’t wait until the dust and dirt are accumulated in the filters or until the air conditional breaks down, which is the last thing you would expect during summer time, where temperatures rise up. Therefore it is necessary to take time and make the habit of replacing them.
You can easily see when your A/C unit needs the filter to be replaced. Its performance would be less efficient, for which it would take much longer for the area to cool down and also energy consumption will increase significantly. These are some of the most obvious ways to know that you will have to change you filter.
With a clogged filter you may risk a lot. When this happen, the air that you and your family breath could be polluted even two to five times higher than the outdoors, it can cause air ducts in your home to become dirty and clogged. That will create the perfect environment for mold and spores to develop within the ductwork. Furthermore, a big amount of unwanted particles can be breath inside your home resulting in many health problems like fatigue, coughing and sore throat, congestion and wheezing, eye, nose and throat irritation, asthma attacks, and other respiratory issues.
Additionally, clogged filters can affect you economy, especially if you are thinking to cut down your utility bills and expenses. Short cycling is one of the most common problems caused by not replacing air filters. This means that your unit will be turning on and off in a much shorter time and working inefficiently, due to the uncompleted cooling cycles which may result in higher costs and premature failure. When dirt, dust and other foreign particles built up in to the A/C system, these forces all the internal components to work as twice as harder than usual, which can also reduce the life span of the unit. The blower motor is the one that pushes the cooled air through the ducts in your home, and if it continues to work with clogged filters it will end up overheating and eventually failing.
Another problem that we have to consider is a possible compressor failure, due to a significant reduction in the air flow. Usually the ice starts building up in the indoor coil, leading the compressor to collapse. Then you may have to replace it, which will result in a very expansive repair. This can be easily avoided by replacing air filter frequently. At all times make sure that all the air vents in the rooms are free of obstructions; this will help air to flow through the compressor efficiently.
Replacing air filters is a very simple and rational procedure; you can always do it. Following these steps will make it easy. But, always make sure to read your HVAC system’s manufacturer instructions to ensure you understand how to properly change the filter yourself.
Step 1. Buy a new filter. Before you buy a new air filter, check your owner’s manual to identify the right number or size (it should also be printed on the side of your existing air filter). You should be able to get a replacement filter at a hardware store, or some department stores sell them.
Step 2. Turn off the unit. For your own safety, be sure to turn off your HVAC unit before attempting to change the filter. If you can’t figure out how to turn off the unit itself, you should turn off the breaker.
Step 3. Remove the old filter. Most air filters are located on the right side of the unit. The filter should easily pull out of its slot in the furnace. It’s not common, but sometimes filters are found in air vents in your home. If that is the case, you will likely need to contact a professional to change the filter.
Step 4. Insert new filter. Simply slide the new filter into place. There are arrows on the new filter to indicate which side should be facing the outside air
The professional who installed your central AC, or one you find locally, should put you on a yearly cleaning schedule that goes beyond just cleaning the filters. Schedule this checkup before the cooling season. Make sure it includes the following tasks: cleaning and inspecting coils; cleaning or replacing filters; adjusting and replacing fan belts; lubricating motors and bearings; cleaning and checking blowers and fans; inspecting controls and safeties; checking refrigerant and pressures; and verifying operating temperatures.