Is Your Cooling System's Air Filter Really That Important?

When it comes to your home's cooling system, you probably think of the compressor or other heavy-duty parts if asked which is most important. However, the air filter might be more important than some of the components you can name. The filter is more than a screen that you must periodically change. To help you understand just how important it is, here is what you need to know about your filter:

What Does the Filter Do?

There are several misconceptions about the air filter in a cooling system, but one of the most prevailing is that it is nothing more than a screen that collects dust. However, it does far more than that. The air filter plays a major role in how efficiently your cooling system operates.

The air filter is responsible for filtering the air that enters cooling system. When the filter is clogged with dirt and dust, less air is filtered into the system. The less air there is, the harder your system must work to cool your home. More work for the system means a higher energy bill for you at the end of the month.   

Your air filter also helps to protect the air quality in your home. The dirt and dust that the filter collects are just the beginning of unappealing particles that are caught in its screen. Pet dander and pollen can also be found in the filter. Without the filter, the particles would be pulled into the system and pushed throughout your home through the air vents.

What Should You Remember When Changing the Filter?

Now that you understand the importance of the air filter, you undoubtedly want to make sure it is changed on a regular basis. When you change the filter and the type of filter you use matters.

Ideally, you should change the filter every couple of months. However, if you have been using your cooling system a lot, you might need to change the air filter every month.

Since the air filter is so important, you might want to consider upgrading the one you have. For instance, if you have a flimsy filter, upgrading to a firmer one is a smart move. You should also consider using a pleated filter. The pleats are better at reducing the contaminants that encounter the filter.

As an added measure of safety, you should consider upgrading to a filter that has a high minimum efficiency report value, or MERV, rating. The rating refers to how efficiently the filter handles dust. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter is.

Talk to local ac services to learn more about your filter and maintaining it.