How to Green Your Air Conditioner: Clean It

Jeanne Sager
Home & Garden

Flickr photo by Greencolander
My air conditioner may get some use this weekend -- or so says one weather report.

I know, it's not as green as opening the windows, but I was raised in the home of an air conditioning and refrigeration contractor -- it's practically been inbred into me.

But I've got a little bit of expert advice on my side to make my air conditioned home more energy efficient than most.

I call him Dad -- you can call him Steve Eschenberg, owner of Eschenberg Temperature Control for the past 31 years.

Says Eschenberg (ahem, I'm trying to act official here), "Your air conditioner filters should be cleaned or changed to increase the efficiency of your unit."

OK, so cleaning or changing the filter is good for the wallet -- and the environment. But how often and when?

According to my dad, er, Eschenberg:

Central heating and/or air conditioning units: Change the filter once a month; more frequently if you have pets who shed frequently.

Window units: Clean or change the filter once before summer and at least twice during the summer months. If you live in a particularly dusty area or have pets who shed profusely, do it a few extra times.

Split systems: Once a month is generally sufficient, but some units have an indicator light that will let you know if you should do it more often.

How often do you clean your filter?


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