The air filter in your air conditioning system is an essential component for keeping your air clean. If you have pets in your home, then you know that they tend to shed a lot and the hair/fluff gets everywhere,
When running, your cooling system recycles the air in your home several times an hour. The warm air is pulled in from the inside of the house and is moved to the AC parts that perform the actual cooling.
These filters have two benefits:
- To minimize the amount of dust and hair from clogging up the components in your HVAC system.
- To reduce the amount of dust and hair that we breath from the cooled air.
However, if this filter is not cleaned on a regular basis, it will cause your AC to work harder than it needs to, and will reduce the useful lifespan of your units.
Cleaning the Air Filters
Some filters can be washed and dried before putting them back into the system. Others you will just throw away. Always check to see if they can be washed. Do not try to wash a disposable air filter. The performance will be severely degraded and may lead to other issues. Don’t try to pinch pennies at a risk of damaging more expensive components or your health.
If your filter can be cleaned (check with the manufacturer), you can often spray it with a hose pipe on a low pressure setting.
Air Filter Depth
The filters you typically see at the home improvement stores are disposable and come in a 1 inch or 4 inch thicknesses. If your system is able to accept a 4 inch filter, then do so, They are much more efficient and tend to last longer, They will obviously cost more to buy, but there are immediate and longer term benefits. Your HVAC repair team will appreciate you doing this!
How Often to Change the Filters?
You should change out the 1 inch filters once a month, maybe more if you have a lot of pets in the house or find that windows and doors are frequently opened.
In the spring and fall, when the system is not being used very much, you can change it less frequently.
Where is the AC Filter?
The air filter is normally located inside a return air grill, perhaps on a vertical wall or on a ceiling and is set up so that it can be easily changed. The other location used is inside the actual AC unit in the attic. There will be a door that you’ll need to unscrew, slide out the old filter and insert the new one. This is typically located next to the air handler (the part with the fan which blows the air into the ductwork).