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How Often You Need to Change the AC’s Air Filter

Posted on: June 6, 2016

Routine maintenance is essential to see that your air conditioning system not only works at its best, but also doesn’t suffer from unnecessary malfunctions and breakdowns that will lead to its early retirement. HVAC technicians will take care of most maintenance tasks (they require experience, skills, and tools only available to professionals), but there’s one task you need to take care of yourself during the rest of the year: regularly changing the AC’s filter.

How often do you need to do that? The answer is: ­it depends. We’ll elaborate below.

Permanent filters

If you AC uses a permanent filter, then you won’t need to change it out at all. But you will have to clean it, probably every one or two months. Make a visual check each month to see if it has gotten heavily clogged or not. Clean it using a garden hose on low pressure. We also advise that you switch to temporary filters, which are more powerful and won’t suffer from problems with bacteria and molds that sometimes develop in permanent filters.

Panel fiberglass filters

This is the least expensive type of temporary filter, and you can find them in packs for a few dollars in most home supply and hardware stores. They aren’t as effective at filtration as pleated polyester filters, but they do a better job than permanent filters. You should expect to change these filters once a month. Make sure to use a marker to write the date on the side of each new filter, that way you’ll know when it was last changed.

Pleated polyester filters

These filters are more expensive, costing about $10 each, but they offer even better filtration than panel filters. They will also long a much longer time, sometimes working for six months before they need to be changed.

Call Bud Matthews Services in Durham, NC today to sign our HVAC Maintenance Agreement. We’ll take care of both your air conditioning and heating system.

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