Change Your Air Filter For More Efficient Cooling

As we move into the dog days of summer, don’t forget to change the air filter on your central air conditioning or heat pump system.  If you have central air conditioner combined with a forced air furnace, it’s easy to forget about the filter in the summer because we often call it a “furnace filter”, but your central air conditioning system uses the same filter.  Likewise, a heat pump uses the same filter whether it’s in heating or cooling mode.

Changing or cleaning the air filter regularly can help your system work more efficiently, increase your comfort, and save you money on energy bills.  Your system was designed to operate efficiently with a  certain level of air flow across the coils.  When the air filter gets clogged with dust, dirt, pet hair, and other debris, it reduces the air flow which makes your system work harder to maintain the selected temperature.

According to EPA estimates, changing or cleaning a dirty air filter can reduce your energy usage for cooling by as much as 15%.  In addition, the air filter protects the coils from dirt and debris.  If dirt, dust, and debris are allowed to accumulate on the coils, it acts like an insulating blanket and prevents the coil from working efficiently.

Changing or cleaning your air filter monthly will not only lower your energy bills today, but it will also help extend the life of your heating and air conditioning system.  You can buy new air filters in a wide variety of sizes at your local home improvement store.  Be sure to write down the size of your old filter before you go so you can be sure to get the right size.  The size should be written on the edge of your old filter.