Your AC filter is one component that you may overlook during maintenance. Most homeowners are not sure when or how to clean the filter. We explore facts on filters and when replacing them is necessary to uphold the system’s efficiency.
Importance of Cleaning Your AC’s Filter
One reason you should never skip AC filter maintenance is to ensure cleaner air in your home. Your equipment’s filter can capture pollutants like dust and debris. But the type of filter will determine what particles it can remove from the circulating air.
Changing or cleaning your filter is also essential for your AC unit’s efficiency. Clogged filters obstruct airflow and cause your system to work more than it should.
The more your AC unit runs as it tries to regulate temperatures, the more dirt and debris it collects. Clogged filters will speed up the rate of component deterioration. Therefore, cleaning and changing the filter helps to extend the durability of your cooling system.
How often should your clean or change your filter? HVAC professionals recommend performing cleaning or replacement once a month for optimal results. But the frequency depends on the type of filter and the conditions in the interior of your home.
How Different Filters Work
You can find different types of filters with varying filtration capabilities and other features. The first step you should take is to check the manufacturer’s specifications. You will find information on the size and the type of filter to replace.
There are two main types of filters, disposable and washable. Disposable filters are more convenient as you can replace them instead of washing them. But the number of replacements you will have to make by the end of the year can raise maintenance expenses.
As the name implies, you can clean washable filters to remove the dust and debris. They are more expensive to buy but cheaper to maintain in the long run.
MERV Ratings and Replacement Implications
The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating determines the ability of a filter to capture particles. A value between one and four can stop 60% to 80% of indoor pollutants. Filters in this category include disposable panels, washable metal, and fiberglass filters.
A rating of between 5 and 8 indicates the device can capture 80 to 90% of pollutants. They include pleated and media panel filters. You can find some replacements with values of up to 16, and they can remove up to 98% of particles. However, the higher ratings are often for medical and laboratory applications.
If you choose to replace your filter, it is wise to strike a balance between the air quality and the AC’s efficiency. A filter with a high MERV rating tends to pull air more slowly into the interior. As a result, the system may run for longer than it should.
AC technicians recommend using filters with a rating of 5 and 8 for residential applications. Your HVAC professional can guide you on whether your system can handle the higher filter efficiency. You can talk to Reliable Air Conditioning for any queries regarding your AC system filtration in Gilbert.
How to Tell if Your Filter Needs Cleaning
If your filter is clogged, it will trigger issues related to airflow. The dust and debris will cover various areas of your air conditioner. Grime can insulate parts of your system and raise the equipment’s internal temperature. You may notice that your AC is hot to touch.
A dirty filter will not allow conditioned air to get through to the interior. So another common sign is if the AC is producing warm air. If it does not cool enough, you might want to consider a filter replacement.
Another sign is if there is dust on surfaces and around the opening of the vents. It usually means that your air conditioner is not capturing dust and debris efficiently.
A simple way to test the filter is to remove it and look at it against the light. If there it is semi-transparent, allowing light to pass through it cleaning is not necessary. However, if it is opaque, you should clear the debris as soon as possible.
The indoor air quality of your home is critical if you have occupants with allergies. Due to the deteriorating air quality, you might experience bouts of allergic reactions. Reliable Air Conditioning comfort specialist in Gilbert can provide solutions to address indoor pollution.
AC Filter Cleaning Process
When cleaning the filter, start by switching your air conditioner off. Switching off, ensure no dirt gets back to parts of the equipment while you’re cleaning the filter.
You can use a vacuum cleaner to remove excess buildup of dust. Avoid using a pressurized cleaner to wash away grime. Most filters are too sensitive for that kind of force. Use a soft microfiber cloth to avoid unnecessary wear on the surface.
Use a hose to splash water over the filter. Let the filter dry completely before replacing it in your system. That way, you’ll ensure there’s no dampness for dirt to cling to and clog your system.
Addressing Airflow Problems
If your filter is clogging at a fast rate, the problem could be elsewhere in your system. Most issues have to do with the circulation of air in your home. Therefore, you may want to schedule duct cleaning and sealing.
Punctures in your duct system can allow air from crawlspaces into your cooling system, and eventually, your home. Most filters cannot handle the large amount or the small size of the particles. As a result, you may experience issues with indoor air quality.
By evaluating the underlying problems, you can address concerns regarding pollutants in the interior. According to the EPA, pollution indoors can be up to five times that of the outdoors.
You may arrange a thorough air quality testing of the house’s interior. You may opt to use UV lights to kill microbes or air purifiers to address the pollution conclusively. The results will determine the most suitable solution for your home’s needs.
Even though the filter could be the problem, scheduling a professional service to troubleshoot your system is advisable. When you need prompt services in Gilbert, you can rely on Reliable Air Conditioning services. You may also schedule repairs whenever there is an unexplained rise in electricity bills.
Why You Should Schedule Routine Maintenance
A dirty air filter is a sign of a neglected air conditioning system. Ideally, you should arrange maintenance services for your equipment at least once a month.
A technician can clean your system to remove dirt on critical components. A certified professional is also in the best position to detect issues developing in your AC equipment. You can restore your home’s indoor air quality and your equipment’s performance for your peace of mind through the season.
For trusted AC maintenance plans and prompt repairs in Gilbert, you can talk to Reliable Air Conditioning acclaimed staff. We have a team of professional technicians with experience handling Lennox and Mitsubishi equipment. But our team can fix virtually any brand or model of an AC unit. We also provide heating, indoor air quality, and duct mini-split systems. You can call [company-name] for upfront and honest pricing, with a guarantee for the service in Gilbert. You can visit our website or contact our helpdesk to book an appointment today.