Even though Portland’s summers are relatively mild, your air filter has a lot to deal with during the cooling season. Taking care of your filter correctly protects your comfort and your health.
How Summer Affects Your Air Filter
While it’s a good idea to inspect your filter once a month, during milder weather, you may not always need to change it monthly. During the cooling season, when you’re using your A/C almost daily, lower-efficiency filters should be changed every month. There are a few reasons for this.
Higher cooling demand — As your air conditioner runs, it pulls room air through the filter and the filter picks up debris from the air. If you’re running your A/C for hours a day most days, it will fill up quickly.
More air contaminants — Naturally higher summertime humidity encourages the growth of mold and bacteria, which worsens your indoor air quality. Plants that bloom in summer add pollen to your air. All this means more contaminants to clog up your filter.
Higher humidity — Humid indoor air provides ideal growing conditions for the mold spores and bacteria on your filter. Leave the filter in too long and it could develop mold that releases more spores into your air.
Know When to Change Your Air Filter
In summer, 1-inch fiberglass filters should be changed every month. Higher-efficiency filters, which have larger particle-trapping surfaces, can last up to 3 months. They also improve your indoor air quality, unlike lower-efficiency filters. Your air quality affects exactly how long they last. If you smoke, have pets or live near a major road or other source of pollution, the filter will become dirty faster.
Check the manufacturer’s recommendations on when to change the filter. To be on the safe side, once a month, remove the filter and hold it up to a light source. If you can’t see light through the filter, it’s time to put in a clean one.
For more guidance on keeping your air quality high, contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling in the Portland area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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