Air Conditioning Maintenance

air-condition-filterTo keep your air conditioner operating at optimal efficiency, you should change or clean the air filter often. Some filters are designed to be cleaned and used over again, while others are discarded and replaced.

The replaceable kind of filter is relatively inexpensive, so it makes perfect sense to replace it when needed. However, replacing it more often than needed is not very frugal, and there’s no sense throwing away a filter that still has some useful life. A filter in need of replacement causes a decline in the unit’s efficiency, which results in higher operating costs.

If your filter is a very efficient one, it will get dirtier faster because of all the debris and dust it is removing from the air and will require replacement more often. A less efficient filter won’t do as good a job, so it will most likely not need to be replaced as often.

Filter Inefficiency

It’s tempting to want to buy the cheapest air conditioning filter available, but consider the following when making your selection. Any dust and debris that doesn’t get trapped by the a/c filter redistributes back into the air in your home.

Not only that, the dust that passes through can collect on the evaporator coil, blower motor, and fan of the a/c unit. This in turn can lead to service calls to Eagle Services in Phoenix Arizona and repair expenses that might otherwise be avoided.

Health Benefits of Efficient Filters

Those who have breathing problems and/or suffer from allergies benefit greatly by an efficient air filter. Look for a filter with a high efficiency or MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value).

The U.S. Department of Energy suggests using a filter with a rating of MERV 13, while LEED recommends a minimum of MERV 8. ASHRAE suggest a minimum of 6, so you probably want to avoid filters with a rating of less than 6, and if you are more sensitive to dust and allergens, you should opt for a higher rated filter. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter.

Other Filter Considerations

  • A highly efficient filter should be replaced or cleaned on a monthly basis because it traps more debris and dust than a less efficient filter.
  • Some areas are dustier than others, which will produce a need for a more frequent filter change.
  • Most filters need to be changed more frequently in the warmer rather than the colder months.
  • How often your unit operates is another factor to consider in how often you change your a/c filter. If you don’t run your unit much during the spring and fall months, you won’t need to replace the filter quite as often.
  • Even on units that have a built in “reminder” to indicate when to change the filter, it is advised to physically check the filter because the system has no way of actually “knowing” how dirty the filter is. It is simply a reminder set for specific intervals.

Avoiding necessary filter changes will result in higher utility bills, a restriction in the air flow, and possible problems with the unit itself. Keep your air conditioning equipment operating at maximum efficiency, and you’ll save money, be more comfortable, and prolong the life of your system.

Is your air conditioning system in need of a maintenance check or servicing? The knowledgeable and courteous service team is on call 24/7 at Eagle Services in Phoenix to respond to your heating and cooling needs. Give them a call today! 602-354-3648

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