The weather is getting warmer every day in the Fresno area, and with higher temperatures you can expect higher energy bills. One of the best ways to keep cooling costs under control is through regular HVAC filter maintenance.
Why Are Filters Important?
The filters in your air conditioner or heat pump system do a simple but important job: they remove dust and other particles from the air. This not only keeps your air conditioner clean and problem-free, but also improves your indoor air quality. High-efficiency filters can also remove smaller particles such as pollen, mold spores and tobacco smoke.
What Happens When Filters Get Dirty?
Over time, particle buildup causes air filters to get clogged, which makes it difficult for air to get through. This causes your air conditioner to work harder than it should, which burns up energy and increases your cooling bills. Dirty filters are also less efficient than clean filters, and they allow a greater percentage of particles to escape into your air conditioner and out into your air. In some cases, dust getting into your air conditioner can lead to more serious problems down the road.
How Often Should Filters Be Changed?
How often air filters need to be changed depends on a number of factors, such as the efficiency level of the filter, the size of your house, how much you use your air conditioner, and whether or not you have any pets in your home. As a general rule, filters need to be changed a minimum of once every three months. At the peak of the cooling season, air conditioner filters may need to be changed as often as monthly.
High-efficiency filters sometimes need to be changed more often than the cheap, fiberglass filters many homeowners use. This is because highly efficient filters catch more and smaller particles, causing them to get dirty more quickly. Generally, filters with a MERV rating between 9 and 12 offer the ideal balance of cost, air flow and efficiency for most homes.
For more information on filter maintenance, contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We’ve been serving the Greater Fresno area for nearly 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about filter maintenance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.