If you are not familiar with your air conditioner's maintenance needs, you may not realize that the filter should be replaced every one to six months. The exact frequency with which you should replace the filter varies based on the number of filters your air conditioner has, the type of filter, how often you run the unit and how dirty the air is where you live. However, if you have failed to do this, your unit will begin to give you signs that a filter change is overdue. If you are experiencing any of these problems, change your air conditioning filter as quickly as possible.
Your Air Conditioner is Running for Longer
One of the signs that your air conditioner filter is full is that your air conditioner is running for longer than it normally does. You probably have a general idea of how long your air conditioner cycles on and off for. If it seems like your air conditioner has been running a lot longer than normal, it probably has. When the filter is full, less air can pass through the filter. This means your air conditioner has less air to cool and blow into your home, which means your home takes a lot longer to cool. Replacing the filter can help immediately solve this problem.
Your Home Seems to Be Getting Dustier Faster
The other sign that a home's air conditioner filter needs to be replaced is that your home seems to be getting dustier faster. When a filter is full, it can't filter all of the impurities from the air. This is because the filter can't hold those items due to a lack of space. So instead, the impurities travel through the filter and into your home. This can lead to a noticeable accumulation of dust on your blinds, coffee table or on any vents you have. Replacing the filter regularly will prevent this from happening.
If your air conditioner is running for longer than it should or your home is getting dustier faster, you should replace the filter in your air conditioning unit. However, these problems may also be indicative of other problems. A unit that runs for an extended period of time may be trying to tell you that the refrigerant is running low or that the fans are improperly working. And more dust coming into your home may be a sign that your duct work needs to be cleaned. If replacing the filter doesn't solve your air conditioning problems, contact an air conditioning service for an inspection.