Should You Change Your Air Filter More Often in the Summer?
The air filter in your HVAC system is a key component that plays a critical role in system efficiency and performance, as well as indoor air quality. Changing the air filter regularly is a vital part of system maintenance, whether it’s the heating season or cooling season.
The filter should get a quick visual inspection every month, winter or summer. If the filter doesn’t appear dusty, clogged or damaged, most experts agree that air filter replacement during the winter heating season can be performed every three months. Changing the filter in summer, however, should definitely be a regular monthly event.
- In most areas of the country, the central air conditioner runs longer cycles and more hours during the typical summer day than the furnace runs in winter. Longer cycles and more operating hours mean a greater volume of air circulates through the system daily and more airborne particulates are captured by the filter. To ensure optimum filtration, more frequent replacement is recommended in summer.
- Humidity is also a factor in summer cooling. Indoor relative humidity is higher in summer months. As humid air circulates through the system ductwork, over an extended time the filter media may become contaminated by moisture as well as bacterial growth, mold and other pathogens. Also, a wet or damp filter captures airborne particulates less effectively.
- Airborne allergy triggers such as pollen and mold spores are naturally more prevalent during the warm months of the cooling season than in winter when plants and fungi are dormant. A filter loaded with captured pollen and mold spores may actually serve as a breeding ground for these microorganisms, continuously contaminating indoor air quality. Monthly filter changes during summer keep the load of airborne allergy triggers inside the house lower.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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