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Regularly changing your air conditioners air filter every one to three months will not only improve the efficiency of the system, it can also extend the life of the system. Its one of the simplest and most inexpensive yet most important things you can do to maintain a properly performing air conditioning system.

Ignoring this simple procedure can lead to a host of problems. An unchanged filter allows air filled with dirt, pet dander and other indoor pollutants to move freely. It can also cause a major increase in the amount of energy used by your air conditioner because it has to work harder to force cool air through a clogged filter.

When To Change Your Filter

The regularity with which you should change the filter varies. For example, if you have multiple pets, a lot of dust in your home, keep the air conditioner on most of the time or have multiple smokers, then its recommended you change the air filter monthly. If you have only one pet, a moderate accumulation of dust and one smoker, a change every two months would probably be sufficient. Homes with no pets, little dust and no smokers can probably get by with a filter change every 90 days.

Locating The Filter

While changing the filter isnt difficult, finding it could be. Many newer air conditioning systems are located in a homes attic, making it a challenge for homeowners to navigate limited attic space to find the filter. An Approved Comfort technician can help you locate the filter and do a quick evaluation of your system to make sure it is operating properly.

If you have an older system, it should be no problem to locate the filter. When youre ready to change it, look for the arrow showing the airflow direction on the old filter and remember it. Turn off your AC unit. Remove the old filter and discard it carefully, making sure dust and other contaminants dont escape back into the air. Install the new air filter so that air flows in the direction of the arrows. Write down the date in the space provided on the side of the new filter you just installed, and check it from time to time to remind yourself when you need to change it again. And during the interval of time between the new installation and its eventual replacement, make sure you check it regularly to make sure it is not clogged.

By making sure you regularly replace your air filter you can help prevent costly repairs that otherwise could result from neglect.