Is it Time to Change Your AC Filter? Here Are 5 Signs to Look Out For

Air Conditioner Filter

Eager homeowners are shocked and surprised by one of the common side effects of house ownership: changing the AC filters. After being engrossed in the process of decorating their homes, renovating rooms, and landscaping their yards, filter integrity gets swept under the rug, and as a result, their health suffers.

Productive filter habits are more than a sign of a good property owner; it’s an indicator of a health-conscious individual. Whether you’re moving into your first home after graduating from college or this is your 10th purchase, here’s what you need to know about AC filters, but more specifically, how to tell when it’s time to install a new unit.

1. Excessive sweating during warm seasons

Have you come indoors after an afternoon soaking up the sun, only to find your air conditioning isn’t up to par? You know how it goes: you head to the thermostat, crank down the dial, sit back and wait, but nothing occurs. Instead, you’re met with a blast of lukewarm air, and you couldn’t be more disappointed.

This experience is the first sign you must replace your filter. Your air conditioning (AC) unit relies on a clean, unobstructed filter to pass cool, clean air throughout your home. When your filter fills with dirt, debris, pet dander, and other unpleasant nastiness, your AC suffers, but more importantly, you’re left sitting in a pool of liquid from the day’s activities.

2. Outrageous electric bills

If you’ve ever opened an electrical bill and suddenly realized your invoice resembles a cell phone number, it’s time to replace your filter. All jokes aside, a substantial statement at the end of a month can devastate a family and cause financial burdens to loom in the background.

Our air conditioning system, much like our cardiovascular network, needs to work harder in the presence of a clogged air filter. However, this increase in usage causes our energy consumption to skyrocket and our bank account to dwindle. If you’re tired of emptying your savings account to cover the month’s bill, check your air filters immediately.

3. Frequent illness

Among all things, an air filter is intended to keep homeowners, pets, and visitors safe and healthy during their visit. If an individual finds themselves becoming sickly and bedridden more than usual, it’s time to check their air filter and see what kind of debris is entering their lungs. Be honest with yourself: how many of these symptoms do you regularly experience?

  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Chronic headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Labored breathing
  • Excess mucus production

Each of these side effects is a symptom of poor air quality and a dirty filter. If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, examine your filter and see what contaminants are plaguing your home.

4. Dusty vents

Have you ever given a closer examination of your home’s vent system? If so, you’ll soon realize the gunk hanging out of each vent slit, spilling over onto the exterior metal. If this scenario sounds a little too familiar, your air filter is ready to be replaced.

Whether you live alone or with a group of rugrats, tracking in dirt and dander is a common practice among homeowners. When we go outside, travel to the store, open the window to smell a fresh breeze, or let our pets in the house, we attract bugs, mites, dirt, and pollen into our residence. 

Without an air conditioning filter to catch these small contaminants, they flood into your air ducts and, finally, into your lungs. If your vent covers, fans, cabinetry, and floors contain a thick layer of dust particles, the air filter is to blame.

5. Ice cube air conditioning

An AC that freezes regularly needs a new filter immediately. An air conditioning unit, in general terms, works by taking air from your home, pumping it outside, and pushing cool air back into the property. 

If the filter on the device becomes clogged, cold air becomes stuck inside the unit, turning the device into a larger-than-life ice cube made of metal and aluminum. Installing a new filter will not only make your home feel fresh and chilly, but it will also help you breathe easy and reclaim your health for years to come.

As you can see, an air filter is more than a nicety — it’s an essential component of a clean, healthy home. Whether you’re battling sickness every month or intend to have family and friends visit in the upcoming weeks, checking your AC filter for buildup and contamination is a smart decision!