Why Your AC Unit Filter Needs Changing On A Regular Basis

If you've recently moved to a part of the country where air conditioner use is common during summer, you should familiarize yourself with the basics of AC maintenance. This will help you troubleshoot issues and help keep your unit running during the dog days of summer -- just like with household heating systems, air conditioners tend to malfunction when they're working their hardest. That can not only leave you sweltering on a hot summer day, you may find yourself having to wait for service because many other homeowners are having the same problem. 

The filter is a great place to start when beginning your journey with a household air conditioner. Here's what you can go wrong when the filter on your air conditioning unit is not changed on a regular basis. 

Your Interior Air Quality Will Suffer

A clean filter helps prevent allergens such as pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and mold spores from being distributed throughout your home. When the filter is dirty, it can't remove these particulates, and recirculates them instead. 

Your Home Won't Be Comfortably Cool 

A malfunctioning air conditioning unit may result in a home interior that doesn't stay comfortably cool during heat waves. Those who are unfamiliar with using household air conditioning may chalk this up to unusually high outdoor temperatures, but the culprit is most likely the air conditioner itself. The first thing you should do after noticing your interior temperatures aren't where you'd like them to be is to check your unit's filter. 

Your Unit May Freeze Up

A dirty filter may obstruct the flow of refrigerant, which can cause ice to form on the coils of your unit -- and this may cause it to stop working. The only solution for this problem is to leave the unit off long enough to allow the ice to melt and to change the filter to prevent the problem from reoccurring. 

How often you change your air conditioning unit's filter depends on the individual needs and preferences of your household. For instance, those with pets in the home will probably want to change their filters more frequently than those living in pet-free environments. You will also want to change your filter more often if your region experiences a great deal of atmospheric humidity than you would if you lived in an area featuring dry desert heat.  Please don't hesitate to reach out to an HVAC specialist for more information on keeping your household air conditioner in great working order.