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3 Signs It’s Time to Change Your Air Filter

During the summer, air filters can clog faster than normal and cause issues for your AC system.

If you notice these signs, it’s probably time to change your air filter:

Below, we’ll look at each of these signs in a little more detail, so you can get a better idea of whether or not you need to replace your air filter.

Sign #1: AC running longer than usual

If you notice that your AC seems to be running longer than it usually does, a dirty air filter could be the reason. Why?

Your AC cools your home by drawing in warm air from your home (through the air filter) and stripping that air of heat. But, if your air filter is clogged, your AC won’t be able to suck in as much air as it needs per cooling cycle. Ultimately, this means your AC will be blowing less cooled air into your home per cycle, which means it will have to run longer to meet the temperature you’ve set on your thermostat.

Note: Your AC running longer could also be due to a spike in temperature outside or your thermostat may be set too low compared to the outside temperature. However, if the temperature is relatively the same as it has been and your thermostat is not set extremely low, a dirty air filter could be the reason your AC is working for longer periods of time.

If you think this is your issue, simply check your air filter and replace it if it’s dirty. If the filter isn’t dirty, you may have a larger issue that a technician might need to help with.

Sign #2: Electricity bill has increased

If your electricity bill has suddenly spiked (and the outside temperature hasn't changed drastically), one explanation could be a dirty air filter.

Like we mentioned above, your AC can’t work efficiently when your air filter is dirty, which means your AC is going to have to work longer and harder to cool your home. Ultimately, this will increase your energy bills.

However, if you check your air filter and notice that it’s not dirty, you should call a tech. There could be a part of your AC system that is broken or malfunctioning, which will not only increase your bills but could cause long-term damage to your system.

Sign #3: More dust around your home

If you start to notice a build-up of dust around your home (and nothing about your cleaning process has changed), it could be the sign of a dirty air filter.

Your air filter is in charge of catching dust and debris before they enter your AC system. This keeps your AC system’s internal parts from becoming covered in dust and it also helps keep the air circulating around your home clean.

But, when your air filter is clogged, it reaches a point where it’s not as effective, and that could be why you are seeing more dust settling on surfaces in your home (instead of being trapped by the air filter).

How do I change my air filter?

Now that we’ve discussed how to determine whether or not you need to replace your air filter, let’s look at how to change your filter.

Step 1: Locate your air filter

Your air filter will be behind a grate that will probably look something like this:

Air Filter Grate

Step 2: Open the grate and take a look at your filter

Note: Depending on the type of grate you have, you may need a screwdriver.

Air Filter Grate Opened

If your filter is dirty (like the one pictured above), wait until your AC cycles off and then replace it with a clean filter of the same size.

Clean air filter grate

Step 3: Close the filter grate

Once your new filter is inserted correctly, close the grate, and ensure there is nothing blocking it.

Simple, right?

Air filter not the issue? Call the most trusted pros in Phoenix: George Brazil

If you replaced your air filter and your AC is still having issues, it’s time to call a pro. If you are experiencing the issues listed above and your filter is not the issue, there could be an issue with an AC part, which could result in long-term damage if it isn’t fixed.

You can learn more about the AC repair services we offer or