Top 5 Signs Your AC Needs a New Air Filter 

April 15, 2022

Summer heat is rolling around again, and with it, it’s more important than ever that your Air Conditioner is working in top condition. Regular AC maintenance orchestrated by a professional is a must to ensure your unit lives the most extended life possible. However, there are some AC maintenance tasks that every homeowner should undertake themselves periodically. One of these aspects involves changing the AC air filter. How do you know when you should do this? Here are five signs that it is high time to change your air filter.   

Your Home is Not Getting Cool

An obvious sign that your AC is not working as it should is when your home doesn’t ever seem to cool down enough. There are several reasons this could be happening, but one of the first things you should check is the air filter. A dirty filter won’t let air travel as quickly through your HVAC system, slowing down the cooling process and making it less effective.   

The AC Unit is Hot 

If an air filter is very clogged, the AC unit will try to compensate by working harder to cool your home. Unfortunately, this can result in the unit becoming hot to the touch or even blowing warm air from the back. Address this fast! If the AC unit continues to overheat and overwork to cool your home, this will often lead to significant repairs or even a shorter life for your unit.   

Your Bills Have Gotten Higher

Have you been doing everything the same, but your electricity bill has skyrocketed? A dirty air filter could be the culprit! Because the AC unit is not working as efficiently, the extra power and time it takes to cool your house could directly affect your pocket. Save some money by checking your air filter regularly and avoiding large electrical bills. 

The Vents Are Dirty

Dust or dirt around your vents is also a sign that the air filter can no longer do its job effectively. While this could also be a sign of other issues, a big reason for this could be due to a dirty air filter. If the filter cannot catch most of the dust blowing through your HVAC system, you’ll see the dirt blowing into your home. Not only will this coat your furniture in dust, but it can also lead to health problems and allergies.  

The Filter is Visibly Dirty

Perhaps the most obvious sign, check that the filter doesn’t appear coated in dust and dirt. It’s good to check your air filter to evaluate its condition periodically. Sometimes, you won’t even realize how dirty the old filter is until you compare the discoloration with a brand new one. If the old filter appears discolored or coated in dust, it’s probably time to retire it.   

When Should You Replace Your AC Air Filter?  

While different air filters have different lifespans, a general rule is that most air filters will need to be replaced after 90 days. However, if you’ve experienced any of the above signs, it is likely time to go ahead and replace your old filter. A dirty air filter could lead to significant problems for your AC unit down the road, so it must be changed when it loses its effectiveness.   

Bonus tip: Do you know long it’s been since you’ve changed your air filter? Every time you change the filter, be sure to write the installation date on it. This way, you can gauge the average lifespan of your air filters in your own home.   

Do you need some air conditioning maintenance by licensed professionals? Ensure your AC unit lives the most extended and most efficient life possible by scheduling regular checkups. Norman Aire has more than 20 years of experience in the HVAC industry. Our technicians are happy to answer all your questions and provide a free estimate if a new unit is necessary. So call today to find out how we can help to keep your home comfortable!  


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