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Air Conditioning Filters

30th May 2022

How often should air conditioning filters be changed?

This really depends on the application of your air conditioning unit.

Offices and comfort cooling

If your air conditioning serves an office space for comfort cooling your filters are likely to be washable and will only need changing if they are damaged. In this case washing the filters is typically done twice a year and is usually done alongside routine maintenance.

Healthcare, manufacturing and pharmaceutical

The above is different for healthcare and manufacturing environments where AHUs are providing cooling for clean room environments. In this case the filters are not washable and will need to be replaced on a regular basis. The frequency will depend on the quality of filter and the equipment’s application. You may find that your equipment has two filters: a pre filter and a main filter. The pre filters are usually cheaper to replace and will capture larger particles. These will be replaced more often. This then protects the main filter which is of a higher grade and more expensive to replace. With an effective pre filter, your main filter will need to be replaced less often.

How can I tell if my air conditioning filters need changing?

Most air conditioning systems will have an alarm indication. The unit may then display a symbol to show that the filters need to be cleaned. However, if you have a maintenance contract with a good contractor, they will be ensuring that the filters are changed at the right time for your application so that the filters do not get to that stage.

Can anyone change filters?

Yes, anyone can be taught to wash their air conditioning filters. However, in our experience we find that most companies prefer to have their contractor carry this out during routine maintenance. This is the same with changing filters. Using an engineer to change your filters means that any underlying issues causing your filters to get dirty more frequently can be diagnosed.

Can I upgrade the filtration on my AHU/ Ventilation unit?

The type of filters that are used on your equipment are decided on during the design stage. During this stage, your contractor will have discussed with you the application requirements and calculated what is needed. Changing filters on a pre-existing installation can cause issues with the fan resistance in an AHU causing the equipment to not work to its optimum.

What happens if I don’t change the filters as often?

Not changing the filters has a negative impact on both indoor air quality and the performance and reliability of the air conditioning system. Contaminants build up on the filter which, if not removed, make their way into the room. A dirty filter can reduce the airflow of the equipment, leading to water leaks and reduction in cooling capacity and also causes the refrigeration system to break down.

Are filter changes included in a maintenance contract with EMS?

EMS will always look at a customer’s equipment and business needs individually and draw up a maintenance contract which is bespoke to that customer. Therefore, we will include filter changes in the contract and discuss with you how often this should take place based on our experience and understanding of your business requirements.

How can I find out more?

If you would like to discuss your maintenance contract with us please feel free to send us over your enquiry here. 

For more information on our air conditioning services please take a look at our dedicated page here. 

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