Air filter replacement is easy to forget about. However, replacing the air filter in your HVAC system is one of the easiest maintenance tasks. It can also help your home heating and cooling system run efficiently and prolong its lifespan, while preventing air conditioner issues that can be expensive to repair. In addition to regular filter cleaning, you should be aware of common signs an AC filter should be replaced; here are five of the most common ones.
1. Dust and Dirt Around Vents
Dust and dirt collecting around AC vents may be caused by a clogged air filter. Particulates can then exit the vent and collect on furniture and surfaces in your home. If your home is dustier than usual, it can be due to a clogged filter. Another potential sign is a worsening of allergies. While blocked ducts can lead to similar problems, it’s often more sensible to check the filter first. Replacing a dirty air filter can dramatically improve indoor air quality.
2. The Filter Looks Dirty or Clogged
There’s usually a visual indication your filter needs to be replaced. If the filter is coated with dust, seems to be clogged, or it’s torn or otherwise damaged, replace it as soon as possible. Aside from reducing energy efficiency and causing indoor air quality problems, a clogged filter can restrict airflow. The AC may then not be able to provide the right temperature. It can also be strained to the point components will more quickly wear out and fail.
3. Rise in Electricity Bill
Has your power bill gone up but the electrical company hasn’t raised its rates? It may be because your air conditioning system is working harder to maintain the set temperature throughout your home. More energy is consumed as it does so. You then pay for energy that is being wasted. A simple way to address this problem is to check your filter often, clean it, or replace it whenever necessary.
4. It Takes Longer to Heat or Cool Your Home
You might notice that the air from the vents is warm rather than cool, or your home isn’t warming up as easily as it once did. A dirty filter limits the amount of air that can circulate through the HVAC system. It can therefore take longer to heat or cool rooms. The system then must work harder to achieve the same comfort level, if it can at all, which makes it much less efficient regardless of its energy rating.
5. The AC Unit Is Hot
As the system works harder to compensate for a clogged filter, the unit itself can heat up. The outside of the air conditioner can be hot to the touch or warm air may even blow out from the back of it. Increased wear and tear and overheating can lead to major repairs and complete AC breakdowns. The bottom line is, if the AC feels hot, check for a dirty filter; replacing it should correct the problem.
Contact Sky Heating & Air Conditioning
If changing your AC filter doesn’t resolve the signs mentioned above, reach out to us immediately for help by a professional HVAC contractor. We offer year-round AC and heating service in Portland and The Dalles, Oregon, and are continuing to provide HVAC repair service and HVAC installation for customers during the pandemic. Sanitizing and social distancing procedures are in place to protect against COVID-19. Call 503-235-9083 to schedule your service appointment now.