9 Clear Signs It’s Time to Change Your AC Filter

Did you know that more than 50 million Americans deal with different types of allergies every year? The sources of these allergies vary but not many people know that their allergies may come from a dirty air filter. 

Maintaining the health of your home, the place you spend a lot of your time is very important! A good first step is checking and changing your home’s AC filter when necessary.

How do you know when you should change the AC filter in your home? Keep reading to learn some of the signs of a dirty air filter.

1. Dust and Dirt Around Your AC Vents

A filter that needs changing will usually be clogged with dust. This dust will most likely end up flowing into the AC system and out through the vents.

If you notice dust accumulating around the vents of your home it’s probably time to switch out your old AC filter for a clean one. If you find dust on areas near your AC vents and nowhere else, the walls or a cabinet, for example, this is a sign that you need to change your air conditioning filter.

2. You’re Experiencing Allergies All Year Round

Allergy season is tough for those of us who suffer from constant sneezing and a runny nose. If you or someone in your home begins experiencing allergy symptoms during an unusual time, outside of allergy season, a dirty filter might be the cause. More or worsening allergy symptoms are also a sign that you should change your AC filter.

Dirty filters tend to make allergy symptoms worse because they aren’t doing their job properly. A clean air filter will filter out all of the known allergens out of your AC system. You don’t want to breathe in pet dander and dust mites, changing the air filter out for a new one is the best thing to do for your health!

3. Smelly Air Isn’t Good

Walking into a fresh-smelling home is a great feeling! When you walk into your home and can’t identify the strange odor coming from your vents you should probably take a look at your AC filter.

If your dirty air filter is preventing the air from circulating properly, bad smells will get stuck and come out through the vents. A clogged filter will also retain moisture and this will cause a musty smell to remain in the home. At this point, you should definitely change your AC filter!

4. A Hot AC Unit Is a Bad Sign

If you notice that your air conditioning unit is unusually hot, this is a pretty good indicator that your AC filter needs to be changed. A dirty filter will make the AC unit work harder. You’ll be able to tell if you feel warm air coming out from the back of the unit.

5. An Unusually High Electricity Bill

We already know that a dirty and clogged air filter makes your AC unit work harder to cool your home. Most of your electrical bill comes from how much you use your AC system. If your air conditioning unit has to work harder to cool your home you’ll definitely be seeing a higher electric bill.

If your normal energy consumption hasn’t gone up but your bill has, this probably indicates an AC unit that’s using more energy to cool your home. To lower your bill you should change your air filter on a regular basis.

6. A Damaged Filter

How do you know when to change the AC filter in your home? A damaged filter with holes and other wear and tear is usually a good indicator.

Checking on your air filter every couple of months to see if it’s too dirty and damaged is a good habit to have. Changing out the old filters for new air conditioner filters will benefit your health and prevent any damage to your unit.

7. Dust Around Your Entire Home

A clogged air filter won’t properly filter out the dust and dirt. All this dust will circulate through your vents and onto everything in your home. If you find yourself constantly cleaning up dust in your house, this is a clear sign that you need to change the air conditioning filter in your AC system.

A test you can do to check if your AC filter needs changing is putting a white piece of paper a couple of inches from one of your vents. Come back to it an hour later and if the paper is dirty this means that you should change your air filter!

8. A Slow AC Unit Means Trouble

Sometimes your unit takes an unusually long time to cool your entire home. When your AC isn’t cooling your home properly the air filter can be the cause of the trouble.

A dirty filter can also cause the temperature of your AC to fluctuate. The air coming out of the vents might be warmer or even colder than it should be. Another issue could be that not enough air is coming out of the vents, replacing the AC filter will most likely resolve these problems.

9. Strange Noise From Your AC

An AC unit should turn on quietly. If you’ve noticed that your air conditioner is now very loud when it runs, this could be a sign that the filter is clogged and needs to be changed. When a filter is blocked by dirt and dust and the air can’t flow through it properly, the air will make noise as it tries to pass through the dirty filter.

It’s Time to Change the AC Filter in Your Home

The list above includes some of the reasons why you should change the AC filter in your home. Check out some of our other blogs to learn about how to best take care of your air conditioning unit.

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