If you notoriously forget to change your air filter, you’re not alone. We know that daily life is busy, many homeowners and business owners in Florida, forget to do this simple maintenance task. How often you need to change the air filter depends on a variety of factors. Ideally, you should change an air filter every three months. If you have pets or suffer from allergies, you’ll probably need to change it more often. If you haven’t changed your AC filter in a long time, the following signs are clues that it needs replacing:

You’re Suffering More Allergy Attacks

Allergy sufferers should be particularly diligent when it comes to changing air filters. Dust pollen, and pet dander cling to the air filter. When the filter becomes saturated with such pollutants, they’ll get blown out and circulated in the air throughout your home and or office. As a result, you’ll suffer the misery of allergy attacks more frequently.

This is the case when you have dirty air conditioner filters. The air in your office, home, facility is contaminated with dust, pollen, dander, mold spores, and other particles. Consequently, about 60% of asthma cases are caused by those particles. A good-quality air conditioner filter can help reduce these air contaminants. However, a dirty air conditioner filter has the opposite effect. Air conditioners filter harmful airborne particles from the air before blowing it around your house, yet when your air conditioner’s filter fills up, its efficiency decreases. Thus, air contaminants and asthma triggers are pushed with the air conditioner’s cooled air throughout your house, causing asthma flare-ups.

There’s More Dust Near the Air Vents

Another common sign of a dirty air filter is finding dust on surfaces and furniture near the vents. Compare these surfaces to other surfaces farther away. If the surfaces nearest the vents are dustier while others appear cleaner, it’s a sure sign that your air filter needs replacing.

One clever way to determine if the air filter is dirty is to do the “white sheet test.” This involves hanging a clean white sheet approximately 5 inches away from one of the vents for at least one hour. If the sheet turns gray, you’ve got a filthy air filter. The grayer the sheet, the dirtier the filter.

The AC filter is not the most complicated part of an air conditioning system, yet it can drastically affect its efficiency and the air quality in your home.

When we think of HVAC systems, we think of temperature control. However, HVAC systems are also designed to filter the air entering the HVAC system and back out into the building.

For your own part, you need to stay on top of replacing the filters used by your HVAC system. If you haven’t done so in a while, go take a look at them. They’re most likely coated with a thick layer of dust and grime.

You may think, “Well, doesn’t that mean that they’re working by trapping dust from getting into the air?” However, the problem is that when too much dust builds up on a filter, it can become clogged and reach its limit of usefulness. Plus, all of that dust may come loose again and end up right back in your air.

When it comes to heavy-duty HVAC maintenance, call in a professional. Messing with your HVAC system yourself can be dangerous. Plus, without the right know-how, you may actually be kicking up all sorts of nasty stuff that wouldn’t have posed much of a threat to your air quality in the first place.

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