What Does an Air Conditioner Filter Do?

In these hot summer months, air conditioning is more of a necessity than a luxury, especially in areas known for their sweltering heat. Air conditioners do more than just keep a room cool. Almost all come with an air conditioner filter that is designed to keep out debris and pollutants. These wonderful devices also control the humidity within a house and supply adequate ventilation. They are also far more effective than those huge blocks of ice that were used prior to the invention of refrigeration.

So what exactly does an air conditioner filter do?

The purpose of an air filter is to trap and collect unwanted particles, foreign objects, and other pollutants in the air and keep them from circulating in the room.  The filter also has the duty of keeping the air conditioning system clean of debris to help keep it running smoothly.  An air conditioner filter can usually be found upwind of the evaporator coil.  Depending on the size and type of air conditioner, these filters can either be found in the return grille or the duct system.  A filter can look like folder paper or a fuzzy looking material held in a frame.

Like everything else, properly maintaining your home air filters will keep your air conditioner running smoothly and promote better air quality within the house.  As the filter collects more and more particles, it actually improves in its efficiency and is able to collect more unwanted debris.  While that is a benefit, it becomes problematic when too much gets trapped in the filter.  This has the undesirable result of reducing air flow and increasing resistance making the system work harder.  Lowered air flow negatively affects the performance of the air conditioner system.  If the filter becomes overloaded with filth, it can actually become a source of air pollution instead of working to keep it clean.

Of course, a quick solution would be simply removing the air filter, however, this would allow all those particles the filter was designed to trap into the house and also into the evaporator coil to clog up the air conditioner system and thus cause it to eventually fail over time.  The best solution would be to replace the air filter when it comes too dirty.  Air filters are not particularly expensive especially in comparison to the cost of repairing a broken system or replacing an evaporator coil.  The length of time that it takes for an air filter to need replacement depends on how dirty the air is, how large the filter is, and how much the air conditioner system is used.


Guest post is provided by Your Filter Connection, providing replacement furnace filters in every size. Visit www.yourfilterconnection.com for more details.