Signs You Need to Swap Out Your Air Conditioning Filter

The air conditioner often doesn’t get quite as much maintenance attention as other areas in your home. After all, it’s only used seasonally, and the main unit is located outside your house, which can make it easy for you to forget about it when you’re performing your regular cleaning tasks. However, it’s important to take some simple maintenance steps to keep your AC operating as smoothly and efficiently as possible, and part of that is changing out your air conditioning filter.

The filter ensures the air coming into your home is free of particles and contaminants, but over time it will start to get clogged up with everything it’s filtered out of the air. This means it’s necessary to change it every now and then. But how do you know when it’s time to change your AC filter? Here’s some information from an AC service in St. Louis, MO to help you out:

  • The equipment is running hot: If you start to notice the back of the air conditioner unit getting particularly hot, this means it is needing to work too hard to push air through the system. You can relieve some of its burden by replacing or cleaning out the filter, depending on the kind of filter in the system.
  • Allergies flaring up: Have you started to suffer from more frequent allergy attacks or heightened symptoms of asthma while in the comfort of your own home? If so, there’s a chance the air coming through your air conditioner isn’t being filtered as well as it should be, which is a sign that the filter is getting clogged up with debris. Trust your instincts—if you feel like you’re dealing with heightened symptoms that don’t normally occur, you should check on the condition of your filter.
  • Home not cooling as efficiently: There could be a variety of reasons why your air conditioning isn’t operating as efficiently as you’re used to, but one of the more common causes of inefficient operation is a clogged filter. If dirt starts to come into contact with the coils, it makes it a bit more difficult for the entire unit to function as designed. The dirtier the filters, the harder the equipment has to work to cool your home, and the more likely it is you’ll be dealing with inefficient cooling.
  • Higher energy bills: If you keep track of how much you’re paying on your energy bills each month and notice a sudden, significant increase, it could be a result of your filters being clogged, forcing your HVAC equipment to work in overdrive. Again, the general standard is that the dirtier the filter is, the harder the equipment has to work. Keeping the filter clean cuts down on how much the machine works and how much you have to pay for its operation.
  • Lots of dust: If the areas around the vents in your home seem to be dusty, this is a sign that your filter is no longer effectively removing dust particles from the air before pushing the air into your home. Check the filter, and if it needs to be cleaned or changed, do so immediately.

These are just a few examples of some of the best ways to tell if you need to change your HVAC filter. You can expect to change a filter at least a couple times a year, but it varies based on your system usage and the conditions in your home. We encourage you to contact our AC service in St. Louis, MO with any questions or concerns.