There are some very important things that you should do to extend the life of your air conditioner and keep it working at peak efficiency at all times. One of the most important things that you can do is change your air filter every three to six months.
Many factors determine how often air filters should be changed. Equipment efficiency declines if you wait too long and operating costs increase. Replacing your air conditioner filter too often can be a waste of your hard earned money, especially if you are using an expensive type of filter. A possible solution to this is to use electrostatic filters which you clean and reuse.
It is important to keep in mind that the more efficient your air conditioner filter is the more often it will have to be cleaned or replaced. For most people, pleated filters will do an adequate job. These filters are ten to sixty percent efficient and some manufacturers claim even higher efficiencies.
Pleated air conditioner filters should be changed every three to six months depending on how dusty it is where you live. If you live in an area with lots of dust then your filter may need to be changed every couple of months.
If you require more efficient air filtration you may want an electrostatic, electronic or even a HEPA filter. The more efficient the filter is the more often it will have to be cleaned or replaced.
Electrostatic filters offer the greatest value. They cost 2 to 6 times more than an efficient disposable filter but are reusable. You simply rinse them with water and they are ready to use again.
Electronic filters will never become dirty enough to effect airflow. They just become inefficient and there ability to remove dust from the air deminishes. To clean these filters you have to remove the electronic cells and soak them in something like HVAC cleaner and then rinse them and let them dry.
HEPA filters are the most efficient filters available but become plugged very quickly. They need to be checked monthly and often cause too much restriction to airflow to be used at all. An air conditioner contractor will be able to tell you if it is worth trying one of these in your system.
Economy panel filters that you can get from your local hardware store are probably the worst type of filters that you could possibly use in your air conditioner. These are the ones that you could almost read a book through. These filters are at the bottom of the list, when it comes to efficiency.
These filters do such a poor job you could leave one in your air conditioner for a year and it might not collect enough dust to require changing. The unfortunate thing is the evaporator coil of your air conditioner would need to be cleaned every year to remove the dirt that should have been stopped by the filter.
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