If you are regularly using your air conditioning unit, its filter needs to be changed about every two to three months. As for cleaning it, twice a month should be enough. Do not wait for grime to accumulate because it makes your indoor air quality poor. You don’t want that to happen. When you use an air conditioner, it is important to ensure that your family breathes clean air to avoid allergies and other conditions caused by dirty air.
A dirty A/C filter will result in more energy consumption. And a higher power consumption means you’ll spend more money on electric bills. That’s why it’s important to have a well-maintained air conditioning filter. There are three types of filters classified into how they operate and the material they’re made of.
One type is called the mechanical air filters. This type is commonly found in air conditioning units used in homes. This type features synthetic fibers that trap tiny particles such as dust and grime to keep them from circulating the indoor air. Charcoal filters also use a mechanical method to prevent debris from circulating the air.
There are fiberglass air filters also. You’ll see them in two sizes: one inch and two inches. These measurements indicate the thickness of the fiberglass. Fiberglass filters come cheap but are the lowest quality. Air conditioner owners who choose this as their filter would find themselves frequently replacing this filter. Fiberglass air filters come with an adhesive coating and mesh that often get damaged when cleaned.
Another type is called pleated air filters. This type removes about 35 to 40% of indoor air pollutants. They are better than fiberglass filters because they have more fibers per square inch. More fiber means that there will be more components to trap particles circulating in the air.
There is also a type called electronic air filters. Of all the kinds, electronic air filters are the most expensive for their great effectivity in trapping unwanted elements in the air. These filters use electricity to attract molecules of pet odor, smoke and mold. Two sizes (1 inches and 2 inches) are also available.
An electronic air conditioning filter lasts a long time, with a service life of up to 6 months. Most of the time it’s coupled with a pre-filter which draws bigger particles. While considered as the most efficient, it is said that the ionizing properties of both filters produce ozone substances that are hazardous.
A related kind is called the electrostatic air filters. This kind charges the air with electricity to attract debris and dirt. They are known in the market as allergy-free filters and can last up to three months.
Aside from the three kinds mentioned, air conditioning filters are categorized based on their MERV ratings. This rating is found on the MERV rating sticker.
The ones that give standard efficiency and can trap bigger particles are under the MERV 7 category.
For people who own pets and have dust and pollen allergies, the MERV 8 is recommended.
The top air filter is the MERV 11 category. It restores rooms with poor indoor air quality and is recommended for family members with chronic respiratory diseases.