The Function of Air Filters in Air Conditioners

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July 1, 2019

Your home air filter is important to your indoor air quality as well as your overall home health. Here’s the function of air filters in air conditioners.

The Function of Air Filters in Air Conditioners

The air in the HVAC system passes through the air filter. The filter’s job is to catch particulates and pollutants such as dust, mold, pet dander and fungal spores. The mesh that is the main namesake of the filter that air passes through becomes denser, thus catching these materials and not hindering the flow of air. If you don’t change your air filter as frequently as you should, the air can’t pass through as easily, as well as more and more particulars have the chance of getting through the mesh, thus harming indoor air quality. 

If you have a dirty air filter (and we mean a really dirty air filter), the fan in your HVAC system has to work harder to push air, which means inefficiency that could cost you some higher rates in electricity. The more difficult it is to move air throughout your home, the harder it will be to cool areas of your home, which means you will not feel as comfortable in areas of your home because they will be receiving less cool air in the summer and less warm air in the winter.   

Without having your filter replaced frequently and with a backup of air, you could cause a build-up of pollutants, providing a space for moisture to gather and encouraging the growth of mold, among other things. This will impact indoor air quality, which is a definite problem.  

In the end, there’s a very simple solution to all of this. Change your air filters more frequently. It’s an easy process that can eliminate the strain and issues. 

When to Change Your Air Filter

When do you change your air filter? It’s best to change your air filter once a month, or once every two months. If you have pets, more frequent changing is suggested, as your filter is more likely to catch pet hair and other particulates. It also may be a good idea to change your air filter more frequently if you live in an area that’s high in pollen.

If you happen to have allergies, the more frequently your air filter is changed, the more likely you are to breathe easy at home and not deal with terrible allergies. 

Different Types of Air Filters

There are different types of air filters out there. Here’s a list of the most common types of air filters you may encounter and how to choose the one that best will suit your needs. 


When replacing your filter, purchase one with a higher MERV rating, 6 or above is our suggestion. MERV means Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, which is how well the filter is able to sift particles in the air.

Remember, that the higher the MERV rating, the more work your AC unit will have to do to push air through the vent, which means more energy and higher electricity bill. 

Flat Fibreglass Filters

Flat fiberglass filters are the common kind of filters that you can find in store. These are easy to use and disposable.

Pleated Filters

These are pricier than fiberglass filters but are really good for people who have allergies, as they do a great job of catching dust and other small particulates. 

HEPA Filters

HEPA filters can capture up to 97% of all particulate matter and remove allergens from your home air. However, this means that they are costly because they restrict airflow, which means a higher electricity bill. 

Washable Filters

Washable filters are economical since you don’t have to keep replacing filters, but they have a low MERV rating (1 to 4). 

HVAC Air Filter Replacement

There are different types of air filters out there. 

If you have questions about changing your air filter or indoor air quality, contact Temperature Pro. We’re here to help Central Florida with indoor air comfort. 

Feature photo courtesy: HomeSpot HQ