While everyone knows the value of a working air conditioner (especially in the middle of a typical Southern summer), not everyone is willing to take the most important step in keeping it working properly: changing the air filter. It’s just that sort of menial, miniscule task that takes very little time and costs very little money but somehow can lead to longtime friends and roommates screaming at each other over who’s turn it was this time. Humans often have a bizarre tendency to put off simple tasks until right at or just past the last possible moment.
Changing the filter, however, is a small, but vital, part of keeping a unit running at peak efficiency. Forgetting to do so (or willfully refusing out of spite in the case of the hypothetical example above) is an excellent way to cost yourself more money. That cost may come in the form of increased utility bills, as your unit works harder and harder to maintain the same level of cooling power despite the obstructed filter. It may also come in the form of major repairs that have to be made after a system breaks down entirely--which nobody wants ever, but is the sort of thing that tends to happen when you most need that air conditioning.
The first step in changing out the air filter is locating them. It is important to understand the A/C system that you are utilizing and at least know where everything is hooked up and the tos and froms of where the ducts are running. Most units have a single filter, but some systems have more than one, in which case they will each need changing from time to time. There are also various sizes of filter, so it is important to know which you need to suit your air conditioner.
How often a filter needs changing varies depending on a number of factors. Are there pets in the house? How is the air quality in the area to begin? How often are people home? A house with several pets may need a new air filter on a monthly basis. Even having a single dog or cat inside means that there is a lot more hair being shed and clogging up the filter, so it will still need to be changed far more frequently than in a non-pet home (perhaps every two months). In high pollution areas, a bi-monthly schedule also can make a great deal of sense. Of course, if a home is mostly empty throughout the year (e.g., a summer home on the beach) the filter may be changed infrequently, perhaps even once or twice a year.
The air filter is an important thing to consider when you wish to extend the life and efficiency of your air conditioning unit. Regular changing may seem like a costly and time-sucking chore, but it will truly save you money in the long run--either on the utility bill itself or in a maintenance check-in once the unit burns out on you.
Contact Harbin Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. to ask about our 60-month/zero-interest specials. They are available on qualifying, high efficiency systems. Our office is located at 5910 Tennessee 57 in Counce, TN, and you can reach us by calling 731-689-3651 or via our website, www.harbinair.com.