Summers in Hampton, VA, make a well-functioning air conditioner a necessity in your home. When your cooling system is working overtime, a clean AC filter helps ensure you stay cool and comfortable. Swapping out a dirty filter for a clean one is an important part of AC maintenance. Your system will perform better, last longer and help keep the air you breathe clean and healthy. Here are four signs that indicate it’s time to change your AC filter.

1. You Can’t Remember that Last Time You Changed It

Even a small amount of dirt or dust can force your air conditioner to run longer to keep you comfortable. Check the filter every month and replace it at the first sign of dirt. At a minimum, change the filter every three months during the cooling season.

2. You Notice a Spike in Your Energy Bills

A clogged filter interferes with the normal airflow in your AC system. It also allows dirt to accumulate on the cooling coils, impairing the system’s ability to keep you cool. A clean filter increases efficiency, decreasing energy consumption by up to 15 percent.

3. You’re Plagued by Allergies

AC filters are your first defense against airborne allergens and contaminants. When they’re clogged or dirty, pollutants can enter the air distribution system and circulate through your home. For people with chronic conditions like allergies or asthma, clean filters can alleviate troublesome symptoms.

4. There’s Dust Near the Air Vents

If you see dust building up near your vents, then you probably need to change your air filter. Compare the areas near your vents to other areas in your house. If there is more dust near your vents, then it’s a good chance that you’re overdue for a filter change.

5. You Forgot to Schedule AC Maintenance

At Lighthouse Mechanical Heating and Cooling, filter checks are included in our preventive maintenance programs. Regularly scheduled tune-ups help keep everything running cleanly and efficiently. We also offer advanced filtration systems designed to enhance your health and comfort.

When the mercury climbs, Lighthouse Mechanical Heating and Cooling helps keep you cool with services that optimize your AC system. For more information, check out our HVAC maintenance section or call to schedule service.

Originally published in April 2018, updated in May 2020

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