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Air Conditioning Filters Need To Be Changed Regularly

Aug 26, 2008
It only takes a couple really hot summer days to appreciate the relief provided by our air conditioning. It is a system which is easy to take for granted, until it breaks down and you have to endure a few hot, humid, sleepless nights.

One key to having a reliable air conditioning system is proper maintenance. The first place to start the maintenance is with the air conditioning filter. This is usually an easy do it yourself job provided you don't forget.

It is a natural tendency to try to wait as long as possible to change the filter, but that is not wise. Running your air conditioner with a dirty filter is not very efficient. This could lead to longer running intervals which may lead to more electric use than the cost of the filter.

There are many types of filters available today and if air quality is not a concern the inexpensive fiberglass filters may do the job. These should keep the evaporator and duct work reasonably clean unless the air is really dirty. Regular cleaning of the evaporator should be done to keep it free of dirt and mold.

If the air quality is a concern, the fiberglass filter won't do the job. Instead, a filter should be selected that does a better job of trapping smaller air born particles. This is when the MERV rating which gives a benchmark for a filters performance will be useful.

A word of caution, some filters may be too restrictive for the system in your home. In such cases air flow can be reduced enough to cause problems with freeze up. It is important to keep the air flow in line with the systems design for best operation.

If your system is installed properly, sized correctly and has the ducts well designed air flow problems should be limited only to dirty or overly restrictive filters. Some might think to operate the air conditioner with no filter to avoid air flow problems. That would be a mistake leading to dirty evaporator and ductwork.

If the evaporator becomes dirty the efficiency begins to suffer right away. This means the electrical consumption goes up and for most of us a visit from and AC repairman will be necessary.

The most cost effective and trouble free way to run your system is with regular filter changes. Trying to stretch the change intervals to save a few bucks does not make sense. With the cost of electricity on the rise not mention the cost of a service call from an AC technician you could buy a lot of filters and come out way ahead.

Don't be caught with your system down during the next heat wave.
About the Author
Dave helps people to learn about Air Conditioning Filters, and the health effects of dirty air.
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