Maintaining an air conditioning system involves many different steps, and you can count on professionals to go through all of them to make certain that your AC is prepped for the intense summer weather. One of these steps is swapping out the old HVAC system air filter for a new one. During the rest of the summer, all the way until your heating maintenance in the fall, you’ll need to take care of changing the filter yourself so it doesn’t become heavily clogged with debris. If you don’t know how to do this or where the filter is located, ask your maintenance technician for assistance.
How frequently should you change the filter?
There are different types of filters for HVAC systems, and they need to be swapped out on different schedules. If you have a permanent filter on your HVAC system, it doesn’t need to be changed, but it does need routine cleaning, usually every two months. (Check on it monthly to see if it’s clogged yet.) Remove the filter and use a garden hose on low pressure to clean it out. Make sure that you allow it to dry thoroughly before replacing it, otherwise it may develop mold and bacteria. (The danger of organic growth in a permanent filter is the reason many HVAC technicians don’t recommend them. They also have less powerful filtration than temporary filters.)
Among the temporary filters available, there are two basic types: panel and pleated filters. Panel filters are usually made from fiberglass and have lower efficiency the pleated filters, but they’re inexpensive: you can find them in packs where each filter costs about a $1 each. Panel filters will start to clog quickly. During the summer, you should expect to change the filter each month.
Pleated filters are the most effective at stopping contaminants, although if you purchase one that has a very high MERV rating, such as 12 or greater, it might choke off airflow because of the tight polyester weave. With the right pleated air filter, you can expect change it only every 3 to 6 months.
Have you scheduled your air conditioning maintenance yet? There’s still time: call Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning for service in Beaumont, CA and throughout the Inland Empire and Desert Communities.