Air conditioners break when you need them. We all know that. Or at least we think that we do. The reality is that proper A/C maintenance can help you reach summer with suntan lotion and not anxiety over how you’re going to survive.
That’s why this time – winter – is the perfect season to make sure that your A/C is functioning at its tip-top best. Now, when you’re not thinking about it, is it the smartest time to change the filter and mend anything in need of a fix.
Tell your friends that you just fixed your A/C in December, and they’ll look at you with awe and jealousy. It’s a hack to the good life – the same as storing up nuts for winter.
The Hazards of an A/C Vent Filter Gone Bad
As for what you’ll do when you work on your air conditioner, you need to change the filter. Not doing so will render your machine not just less efficient, but hazardous. First, you’ll lose air quality in your home. But the reason it’s hazardous is because your indoor air quality is among the leading environmental hazards when it’s polluted. And think about how often you’re breathing that. Do everyone you love a favor and change your A/C filter.
When Should You Change It? When It’s Dirty, Of Course.
Here’s what we mean. The kind of filter in your air conditioner will in part determine how quickly it gets dirty. The pollution where you live will also determine how quickly it gets dirty. If you live in the foot of the Himalayas (or Seattle) then you’ll have to change it less than if you live in the most polluted city on earth, Beijing (or Los Angeles).
The fact is that particular air quality in Georgia varies, which is the main issue with filtration, as is ozone quality scores, on which the American Lung Association reports Dekalb, Gwinnett and Fulton counties all flunk.
If you live near busy streets, buses and trucks, an airport, construction site or heavily polluted areas, you’ll need to change the air filter more often. Even fireplaces that burn wood will release toxic elements into the air that may get sucked into your air conditioner, and require you to replace the filter more often over time.
Pets. If you have dogs, cats, birds – your air will be dirtier. Finally, if you have a family… more people actually means more dirty air, and more filters.
Really, How Often?
If your filter is 1 – 3 inches, you’ll probably be told by the maker to exchange it every other month. But this can also depend on your allergies. If you have them and are sensitive to the air, you may find it’s important to change the filter more often.
Remember, while the filter will catch what you don’t want to breath, it will do that at the expense of its own efficiency.
Here is a guide to help you:
- If you’re living alone or without any animals and don’t suffer from allergies, you can get by with changing the filter once or twice a year.
- If you’re living a normal suburban home then change it once every three months.
- If you’re an animal lover, change it once every two months.
- And if you own a menagerie or have serious allergies, change it every month to month and a half.