A guy checking an AC unit | AC Filter

Why Is My AC Filter Getting Dirty So Fast?

No matter your hobbies or walk of life, a working air conditioner is something most of us revel in. And we realize that to keep it working optimally for as long as possible, we have to change the filters regularly.

But what do you do if, no matter how diligent you are about the task, the filters still get dirty at a ridiculously fast rate? Is there anything you can do about it? And what does it say about the air quality inside your home?

6 Reasons Your AC Filter is Getting Dirty Quickly

1. You Have Pets

No matter how much you love your pets, you can’t deny the fact that they shed—a lot. The same way you see their fur all over your furniture, floor, and clothes, it will also coat the air conditioner’s air filter. That’s why if you have pets, it’s recommended that you change the filters more often than someone who doesn’t have furry family members. A good rule of thumb is to change them at least once a month.

2. Thermostat Fan Is Set to “ON”

Take a moment to look at your thermostat’s setting. Look at the fan option. There will be two settings: “Auto” and “On.” If you have it set to “Auto,” the fan will switch on only when the AC or heater turns on to cool or warm your home. Once the indoor temperature reaches the setting on the thermostat, the AC/heater shuts off, and so does the fan. However, if you have it set to “On,” it will run constantly. As a result, air from your home constantly circulates through the air filters, causing them to get filthy faster.

3. Low-Quality Air Filters

We get it. If you’re on a budget, you’re not going to splurge on air filters, because quite frankly, the more expensive filters are hardly ever a must-have. But consider this, buying lower-quality air filters is more expensive in the long run: You may save money when you first purchase them, but you will have to purchase them more often. When shopping for air filters, pay attention to the filter’s MERV ratings, which range from 1 to 20. The higher the number, the better quality the filter.

4. You Have a Large Family

The more people living in your home, the more often you’ll have to change the air filters, especially if anyone in the house smokes or suffers from asthma. If changing the filters so often feels like a burdensome chore, splurge a little and purchase HEPA filters. These filters trap the highest amount of dust particles and allergens (even the ones that are too small for other filters to catch). If you’re really concerned about breaking the bank, you can purchase washable HEPA filters. Pop them out when they’re dirty, rinse under a steady stream of water, and let them air dry for 24 hours before replacing them. Read the instruction manual, though, since some are non-washable yet can be vacuumed and reinstalled.

5. High Quantities of Soot in Your Home

There could be several sources of soot in your home: a smoker, a gas furnace, or scented candles. If no one in your household is a fan of tobacco, check the color of the flame in your furnace. It should be blue. If it’s yellow or orange, the HVAC system is obstructed. Since working with gas is dangerous, call a licensed professional to resolve this issue. If the problem is candles, pay attention to the wicks. Cheap candles from the dollar store are unlikely to be high-quality. Look for candles with braided wicks. They are more expensive, but they also produce less soot. Also, look at the ingredients list. Avoid candles with petroleum jelly. There’s no point in having a home that smells like a field of lilies if the candles are causing poor air quality in exchange.

6. Mold

Before you freak out, look for signs of mold. These include a musty smell in your home, itchy, watery eyes, signs of water damage around your home, such as ceiling leaks and bubbling paint, condensation inside your windows, and obviously, mold growth. To prevent this problem, you can install a humidistat. If you have reason to believe that it’s already an issue, schedule a mold inspection or a home energy audit.

Call our HVAC professionals at A Plus Air Conditioning and let us help you!

No matter the issue with your air conditioner, we can assist you. We provide services throughout North Central Florida. And because we understand that a working air conditioner is essential in Florida, we offer 24/7 AC emergency service.

Call us at (352) 374-4988 and let us get your AC back to proper working order, or contact us online.