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Part of ensuring your home remains cool and comfortable all summer long is keeping your air conditioning’s air filter clean. Air filters are designed to collect dust, dirt, pet dander, allergens, and other microscopic particles. As they get dirty, their effectiveness at removing these things starts to diminish.

A side effect of a dirty air filter is its inability to allow air to flow freely through the filter and the return air vent. This can cause your air conditioning to work harder in order to circulate around your home. The harder it has to operate, the hotter it can get.

Eventually, it can get so hot it can cause your air conditioning to overheat and stop working completely. Then you would have to call for emergency AC repair to get it working again. In extreme overheating cases, the outdoor AC unit could get damaged to the point it could not be repaired but would need to be replaced with a new AC.  

How often the air filter needs to be changed does depend on several different factors, including:

  • The type of air filter you have installed. There are 30-, 60- and 90-day air filters.
  • The quality of indoor air. If you have problems with allergies or dust or you have pets, your air filter may need to be changed more often.
  • The type of weather conditions around your home. If it is dry outside for long periods, this can create added dust and pollen that could get into your home. This could result in having to change the filter frequently.
  • The number of people and pets in the home. More people and pets in the home can reduce how long the air filter will last.

It is a good idea to get into the habit of inspecting the air filter monthly to check its current condition. Most people check their air filters on the first of the month, as this is an easy date to remember. If the air filter looks dirty, go ahead and change it to ensure your air conditioning continues to operate optimally.

Which type of air filter is best for my air conditioning?

There are several different types of air filters on the market, from basic 30-day filters to ones that last 90-days and include features for removing pollen, dust, pet dander, and allergens. Using a higher-quality air filter can be better for indoor air quality.

furnace filter

You do need to pay attention to the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating on the air filter. The higher the MERV rating, the more effective and efficient the air filter is at filtering out dust, allergens, pet dander, and other airborne particles.

MERV ratings range from 1 to 16, with 16 being the most efficient air filter. However, having the highest rated air filter is not always best for your AC system and could cause it to run harder. It is highly recommended you consult with your air conditioning repair technician on which type of air filter and MERV rating would be the most effective for your AC system.

For assistance in selecting an air filter or to learn about our AC preventative maintenance programs, please feel free to call A+ Services at 360-464-2493 today!

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