Clean Your Air Conditioner Filter – Daily Financial Challenge

clean air conditioner filter - save moneyYesterday we had you walk through he house to close off any air conditioner vents in rooms you don’t use to reduce the amount of work that your air conditioner will need to use this summer. Today we’ll continue with that theme to make sure that your air conditioner filter is clean.

To keep your air conditioner running at its optimum, you should clean or replace your air conditioner filter each month. A dirty filter restricts air flow which results in your air conditioner working harder and using more electricity that it should be using.

If your air conditioner currently has a foam filter, you’ll want to replace it with a plastic mesh filter. Foam filters don’t do a very good job of trapping particles which can send them into the airstream. In addition, they need to be replaced each month which adds up in cost.

If possible you’ll want to replace your worn-out or dirty filter with a plastic electrostatic mesh filter. You can get a filter kit at your local hardware store for under $10. These permanent filters can be cleaned by washing it with a garden hose meaning that you don’t have to buy a new filter every month.

All you need to do today is walk over to your air conditioner and take a look at the filter. If it’s dirty and needs replacing, make sure to place buying a new permanent filter on your shopping list. You’ll also want to take the time to mark a specific date each summer month in your calendar (June, July & August) to check and clean the filter. By marking it on your calendar, you won’t accidentally forget which will ensure that your air conditioner is not having to work harder than it needs to be.

While the savings will depend on how much you use your air conditioner, a new filer will more than pay for itself in reduced energy costs and not having to buy a replacement filter each month.

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4 Responses to Clean Your Air Conditioner Filter – Daily Financial Challenge

  1. Denise says:

    Unfortunately, the tips for the past two days do not apply to me. While I do have air conditioning, it is not central air. Aren’t there any tips to lower electric costs when you have this type of air conditioning? I think it would have been more helpful to include the tips for room air conditioning at the same time as the central air tips.

  2. Scott says:

    Denise, if you are talking about window AC units, even those should have air filters on them. These filters also need to be cleaned periodically, its just much easier to remove and clean than the central AC type.

    The better tips for these types of AC units are:
    Remove the AC unit in the winter time. You will lose less heat with it not in the window. Also with less time in the elements, the AC unit will last longer.
    When you take the AC unit out of the window in the fall, take it outside and remove the outer shell. Inside it will most likely be filthy. Rinse it out with a hose, let it dry, and then put the shell back on. That will add years to the life of an AC unit. Also, with less dirt, the unit will run more efficiently, saving money.

    I do both and it makes a big difference on the efficiency of my units.

  3. Leslie Lyons says:

    I was reading through several blogs to find a good resource to direct people to that need info on filter changes when I ran across this article. I have to say, the title had me quite confused until I read through to the second paragraph, lol. The title makes it seem as though you are recommending daily filter changes. I understood the reasoning behind this after reading through it a bit. Other than the title being a little misleading to newcomers and passerby’s at first glance, this article contains good info for those who are not familiar with the process… like my mom :)

  4. The Comfy Buddy says:

    I have a portable AC and it will be rested during the winter. I clean it when spring arrives. I use pressure cleaner for my filter.

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