One of the most important things you can do to keep your air conditioner running efficiently this summer is to replace air filters regularly. Dirty/Moldy air filters block normal airflow and reduce a system’s efficiency significantly. In fact, replacing a dirty or clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by approximately 5% to 15%.

hvacThe vast majority of people have #1, disposable filters.  These filters come in many frame sizes and thicknesses. A disposable air filter is basically just a piece of woven fabric made of fiberglass or other synthetic materials.  The higher MERV filters have a more closely woven fabric than the lower MERV ones.  So there is less “free area” between the pieces of fabric for the air (containing the particles) to pass through.  So the particles that are larger than the openings become trapped.

Make sure to familiarize yourself with the locations of your filters in order to replace air filters regularly. Common locations are in walls, ceilings, furnaces, or in the air conditioner itself. For central air conditioners, filters are generally located somewhere along the return duct’s length. Room air conditioners have a filter mounted in the grill that faces into the room.

Filter Types

  • Disposable filters
  • Permanent washable media filters
  • Electronic air cleaners
  • Hybrid models.

We’ve seen certain Air Conditioning filters plug up solid with dirt in less then 10 days.  Each cubic foot of air in each environment contains x amount of dust.  And each air filter will only hold x amount of dust before it totally kills the airflow.  So you would have to know how many cubic feet of air containing x amount of dust have passed through that filter in 3 months before you could make the assumption that the filter would last 3 months.

Find out more about maintaining your air conditioner at the U.S. Department of Energy website.

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