The dirty truths about keeping your air conditioner filter clean
As the steady hum of air conditioners begins to fill the air in neighborhoods throughout northeast Florida, so do two distinctive cries among people whose air conditioners have broken down.
The first cry – along the lines of frustration or surprise – emanates from people who are told they must replace their air conditioner.
The second cry – unmistakably, one of tremendous relief – emanates from people who are told that all they must do is replace the filter to get their air conditioner running again.
You can probably guess which verdict the technicians at Charlie’s Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning prefer to deliver – and why they continue to spread the word about the importance of replacing your air conditioner filter every month.
Begin with a Charlie’s tuneup
Next to scheduling your annual air conditioner tuneup with Charlie’s, the single most important step you can take to ensure that your air conditioner hums along this summer – reliably, efficiently and without interruption – is checking the filter every month and replacing it when it’s dirty. While simple to do, it might be difficult to remember to do since we may not lay eyes on our air conditioner every day – and that old saying about “out of sight, out of mind” holds some merit.
You might be more inclined to remember to check the filter – and take steps to remind yourself – if you understood the vital function it performs. Its delicate fiberglass or pleated cloth design belies its muscular role.
A dirty filter can’t clean the air
Like the filter in your car, the filter in your air conditioner traps dust and dirt as air circulates through it. And believe it or not, there are more contaminants in your home that must be trapped, such as:
• Hair and animal fur
• Mold and mold spores
• Particles of wood, metal and plaster
Dirty filters lead to mechanical trouble
After about a month of running your air conditioner regularly, a filter reaches its capacity and must be changed. Otherwise, these airborne elements:
• Stifle air flow, forcing your air conditioner to run longer to reach the temperature you have set on your thermostat and thus costing you more money to run
• Accumulate on the air conditioner’s components, contributing to more frequent malfunctions and even breakdowns (which lead to those cries for help)
• Get channeled through your ducts and into the air you breathe
Dirty filters lead to health troubles
At this point, your indoor air quality becomes compromised. And while “indoor air quality” might strike you as an esoteric term, dirty indoor air can foster very concrete health consequences, such as:
• Sleep disruptions
• More cold and flu-like symptoms, including a scratchy throat, frequent coughing and eye and nose irritation
• More intense allergy and asthma symptoms
• A heightened risk of contracting a respiratory disease, especially among children and the elderly
Charlie’s has fresh filters – and your back
Charlie’s is so committed to keeping its customers’ air conditioners humming along that it launched a filter delivery service last year. It’s our way of going the extra mile to help ensure that our customers’ air conditioners last 10 to 15 years – the average length of time most air conditioners are built to last.
By bringing a fresh filter to your door every month, Charlie’s also can ensure that you’re using the right filter for your air conditioner. Although most filters are made in standard sizes, some manufacturers issue specific recommendations that ought to be followed for optimal performance.
In addition to fresh filters, Charlie’s also has your back – meaning that you shouldn’t hesitate to call us with questions or the minute you suspect your air conditioner might be malfunctioning. Whatever the problem is, we’ll get it humming along again – to provide music to your ears and to your neighborhood.