Changing Your Air Conditioner Filter, Is It Really Necessary?
For someone living in the UAE, an Air conditioner is as important as food and water. In fact, you may get by a couple of days without food but you can’t imagine spending an hour without AC – not in the scorching heat of a typical Dubai afternoon!
AC maintenance in Dubai is something inevitable. Since these cooling machines function almost 10 months every year, they get very little rest. And when small issues remain unaddressed, the repair proves too expensive eventually.
AC filters require frequent cleaning and often a fresh replacement. But why, what would happen if you become oblivious about your air conditioner’s filter’s health?
Is it Really Necessary to Change Your Air Filter?
Well, let’s put it this way: Do you have a fan at home? If you use it for 8 to 10 hours a day, 24/7, and 365 days of the year, won’t it need a bit of cleaning every month? The dust and cobwebs will affect the air quality.
The same goes for the air conditioner. It too has a fan inside that blows cool air, while the filters block the dust and debris from coming out with the air.
With the passage of time, the dust particles keep increasing, and eventually upset the air quality. And it’s not just about the air quality but the overall health of your machine.
The following reasons make it extremely important to change or clean your filters after every few months:
1. Health is Wealth!
Not being serious about air filters is equivalent to ignoring your health. Would you like to inhale clean and healthy air or air that contains a lot of dust particles? Of course, you are serious about your health and understand the relation between your lungs’ health and the quality of the air you breathe in.
Particularly if you have someone with asthma or allergies in your family, you can’t expose them to an environment that will worsen their condition.
There’s no other way around; even if you have an air purifier installed in your room, cleaning and changing filters every few months is still necessary for maintaining air quality.
2. Performance Decline in the Summer Season
The next reason is the performance of your AC. Mind you, it’s not just about how powerful your air conditioner is but how clean the filters are – dust-free air filters blow powerful cold air.
On the other hand, if debris has obstructed the airflow, you can’t expect an ideal cooling performance. This phenomenon becomes evident in summer when we run the machine at maximum power, and the anxiety kicks in when there’s no significant change in the room temperature.
So, it turns out clean air filters pave way for excellent performance in the summer season. Once in a month cleaning and replacement after three months are recommended on the safe side.
Also, this small investment will reduce the wear and tear on your air conditioner ultimately increasing its lifespan.
3. No to Very Few Breakdowns
Now the most important bit ( if you don’t want to spill hundreds of dirhams every month in repairing your AC). Constantly running your AC with dusty and clogged filters can lead to breakdowns.
Old filters are prone to release fibers and debris directly into moving parts of the AC. Once there’s excessive fiber and debris inside, your AC breaks down. Frequent cleaning and timely replacement(when filters are not usable anymore) is the only way to avoid costly repairs of your cooling systems.
When Should You Change it?
A common question asked is ‘when should I change my air conditioner’s air filters?’ The thing is, there’s nothing like a fixed lifespan of filters – regardless of their quality. It depends on your use – the longer you run it daily the sooner it will need a replacement.
Generally, technical services provider experts recommend changing them after three months. However, if your AC is being used in a commercial space for longer hours, more than 12 hours on average, the lifespan of air filters reduces further.
The general rule of thumb is: If despite weekly cleaning your AC’s performance is declining, and you are sure it’s due to the filters, replace them.
How to Clean Your AC’s Air Filters?
Fortunately, this doesn’t involve any rocket science. Follow the below-mentioned steps to get it done neatly without inflicting any damage to the AC itself:
- First of all, determine if your AC’s filters are washable or not; some filters are meant to be disposed and a professional has to come over to remove them. Better check the manual first.
- If they are washable, turn off the AC and remove the cover first. (You may have to unscrew it first).
- Now you can see and access the filters. Gently take each out
- Now use a vacuum cleaner to suck all the grit and dust out of the filter.
- Once the vacuum has done its work, it’s time to rinse the filter for a deep clean. Don’t use any detergent, plain water should be enough.
- Submerge the filters in the mixture for at least one hour and let it dry for an hour or two.
Congratulations! Your air filter is ready to be put back and you can enjoy cool air blown on your face once again!