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Why Does My Air Filter Get Dirty So Fast?

You already know the air filter is one of the most important components of your air conditioning system. After all, without the air filter, there would be nothing stopping debris (think: dander, dirt, and dust) from circulating throughout your home. That’s why you’re diligent about swapping dirty air filters for fresh ones every couple of months.

But what if your air filters are always excessively dirty when the time comes to change them? Is this normal or the sign of an underlying issue? Read on to find out why your air filters are turning black so fast.

6 Reasons Why Your Home AC’s Air Filters Get Dirty So Fast

Here are six reasons why your AC filters may be getting dirty so fast.

1. You’re Buying Cheap Air Filters

You don’t need to buy the most expensive air filters on the market, but you shouldn’t buy the cheapest ones either. If you notice that your air filters get dirty very quickly, it might be due to the quality of the air filter you’re buying.

Cheaper air filters cost less because they are low quality. As a result, they have a shorter lifespan than high-performance air filters. Take for example a standard fiberglass air filter. These are very inexpensive but they are designed to last for just 30 days maximum. While high-performance air filters cost more, they are designed to last upwards of 90 days.

2. Fan Mode Is Set To “ON”

Your thermostat includes a few settings, two of which are “AUTO” and “ON.” If your air conditioning system’s fan is set to “ON,” the fan will be constantly running, even when your system’s cooling cycle isn’t.

On one hand, this means the air in your home is constantly being filtered. On the other hand, doing this is absolutely not necessary and means that your air filter will wear out significantly faster. If your system is set to “ON,” try switching it to “AUTO” and see if you notice a difference in your air filters.

3. It’s Been Hotter Or Colder Than Usual Outside

Sometimes the amount of buildup on your air filters is completely out of your hands. When the weather throws you for a loop, it can also influence how long your air filter lasts. This is because the weather directly relates to how much air is cycled through your air conditioning system.

When it’s much hotter and colder than usual, your system will work harder to cycle more frequently – meaning your air filter will be working overtime.

4. There’s Excess Soot In Your Home

Are you a candle lover? We all love a comforting space that also smells good, but candle soot can be a serious issue for some homeowners. Soot is a byproduct of burning cards, and sometimes using your fireplace, but luckily this one has an easy solution. And no, you don’t have to give us your candles either.

Get in the habit of trimming the candle wicks regularly. This will reduce the size of the flame the candle puts off, as well as the amount of smoke and subsequent soot.

5. There’s Mold Lurking In Your Home

This is a worst-case scenario, but it is possible that the excessive black you’re seeing on your air filters is mold. It’s possible for moisture to accumulate within your air conditioning system’s ductwork (usually from a leak or clog) and lead to mold. As mold spores move throughout your system and your home, they can wind up in your air filter.

Obviously, mold is never a good sign. If you suspect you have mold in your home, we recommend swapping your dirty air filter for a fresh one and scheduling an appointment with a reliable air conditioning technician right away.

6. Your Home Has Lots Of Contaminants

No one wants to consider that their home is full of contaminants, but this could be why your air filters are turning black so fast. From pets to hairspray, lots of factors can contaminant the air in your home.

If you’ve recently gotten a new pet or had a construction project in your home, this could explain a sudden increase in air filter debris. If you’re concerned about the quality of the air in your home, we recommend talking to a technician to learn about installing a whole house air cleaner.

Indoor Air Quality Services in South Florida

If your air filters are turning black too quickly and you’re not sure why, Sansone wants to help. We pride ourselves on providing services that not only improve the comfort of your home but the safety too. We believe indoor air quality is extremely important and will inspect your system to determine what’s causing your air filters to get dirty so quickly.

Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment online.

Broward: (954) 800-2858
Palm Beach: (561) 701-8274
St. Lucie: (772) 879-5656

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