Dirty air filters in your home aren’t just disgusting, they are also unhealthy. Changing air conditioning filters regularly can improve health and save you money at the same time!
Why Should You Change AC Filters Regularly?
First of all, it looks bad! Picture that you are visiting your friend’s home which has beautiful wood flooring and an exquisite Nani Marquina rug centered in a room that looks akin to something Nate Berkus would have designed. The walls are a warm honey color and the picture window view overlooks an inviting lake. But when you walk through the hall on your way to use the powder room, an air register with gobs of fuzzy dirt clinging to it catches your eye. Yuk! Does it make sense to spend money on plantation shutters and designer furniture and then allow such an eyesore?
Secondly, and even more important, a dirty air conditioner filter is hazardous to your health. The Trane website explains, “The air inside your home is usually more polluted than the air outside. And, that means millions of unwanted airborne particles are being inhaled by you and your family.” Air filters become an overhead trap for dust, bacteria, tobacco smoke, pollen, cooking odors and pet hair and dander.
Finally, dirty air filters in your home waste your money. The Wolf Mechanical Air Conditioning website explains that dirty air filters put stress on your entire air conditioning and heating unit. Negligence in changing your air filter can lead to costly repairs as well as higher energy bills, all preventable with just a little time and money.
Which Type of A/C Air Filter?
The best type of air filter, health wise, is a high-efficiency pleated filter with a built-in electrostatic charge which can remove an impressive 90% of spores from a home’s air. Experts tell us that the older, less expensive air filters work poorly at trapping such tiny particles and can result in health issues.
The Washington Post article “The Dirt on Furnace Filters” written January 2006 by Jeanne Huber explains that damage to AC equipment can be caused by poor air filter maintenance. Huber adds that dirty air filters, “significantly restrict air flow once they become somewhat clogged. This prevents the air moving through the unit as it was designed to do, and it ends up running longer to do its job, which in turn runs up your gas or electric bill.”
Changing AC Filters: How Often is Often Enough?
Wolf’s Homeowner Guide recommends that you change your home’s air filters at least twice a year, and as often as once a month if you have pets. Here are guidelines for changing the air filters in your home:
-Change Air filters whenever they look black and clogged, preferably every three months.
-Households with smokers, dogs or cat lovers should change once a month.
-Households with asthma or allergies sufferers should check and change filters regularly, ideally once a month.
Air Filter Reminder Tips
Remembering to change your AC filters isn’t always easy, I’ll give you that. Time gets away from all of us. Here are a few reminder ideas:
-Use a change of seasons to remind you to change your filter, which means you’ll have a fresh filter at least four times a year!
-Keep the A/C filter measurements in your wallet or cell phone’s notepad to help you remember the right size.
-Buy enough air filters for the entire year every January, or every spring, or some other calendar trigger.
-Set up reminders to change your filters on your Outlook calendar or cell phone.
Changing your home’s air filters is a relatively cheap way to keep the air safer that you breathe indoors, and imperative if you want your air conditioning system running effectively. There is no excuse for not establishing a routine maintenance plan that will keep your family healthier. Don’t put it off — do it today!
Washington Post, “The Dirt on Furnace Filters”
The Trane Website
Wolf Mechanical Air Conditioning Website