Your AC air filter is an important part of your air conditioner but it might not be for the reasons you think.

Contrary to popular belief, the filter that is built into your HVAC system is there for your unit’s protection, rather than for helping to reduce the duct in your house (though it doesn’t hurt that effort either).

While it may not seem to be an important part of your system, the condition your filter is in will make a big difference in how well your air conditioner works.

If you aren’t sure what the purpose of your AC air filter really is, or if you need to change it out, we can offer a little clarification.

We have listed some of the most frequently asked questions about AC air filters for your air conditioner in Virginia for your reference to give you a better idea of what this part of your system does.

Faqs About Your AC Air Filter

Here are some important things to know about your system’s AC air filter and the attention that it needs.

ac air filter

Question: What Is The AC Air Filter For?

Answer: Your air filter is there because it is meant to keep dust, dirt, fur, and other debris out of your HVAC system.

In central air conditioners, for example, placed in what is called the “return air duct,” which is the part of your system that pulls in the warm air from your home to be cooled off and then pushed back out through the vents.

Without the ac air filter, any particles that were in the air being pulled in through that return air duct would get access to your system and could cause a lot of problems.

Question: When Do I Switch Out My AC Air Filter?

Answer: How often you need to change out or clean your system’s air filter depends on how frequently you use your air conditioner.

In general, we advise that you check your filter every one to three months. For instance, if you use a heat pump that runs almost the entire year to provide you with cool and warm air, the filter for this system might need to be switched out or cleaned monthly.

In contrast, an AC filter that is a part of a system that hasn’t been used too frequently, say during late winter, probably can make it three months before it needs to be changed.

Question: Do I Clean Or Change Out My Air Filter?

Answer: What you do with your air filter will depend on what kind of filter it is. If it is disposable, you can throw away the old one after ensuring you have an identical filter to replace it.

If it is reusable, follow directions for cleaning it such as using a damp cloth to wipe it down and get rid of the built-up debris.

ac air filter

Make Things Easier With AC Maintenance

If you aren’t comfortable with changing or cleaning your air filter on your own, you can make things easier by scheduling a AC yearly maintenance appointment.

This service allows a professional technician to address your air filter and so much more.