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Old 08-18-2009, 02:25 PM
 
7 posts, read 59,806 times
Reputation: 13
Default Having to change air conditioner filter TWICE a month?

Within two weeks, my filter is already a medium/dark shade of gray. By the end of the month it's a very very dark grey/almost black. So, I'm thinking about changing my air filter again, even though I just purchased one two weeks ago. I have one pet, don't smoke, don't open windows, & am very clean. I called Home Depot, & the guy working was rude & said that's fine & you should change it every month. But when the air conditioner comes on, I can feel warm air at first & there is also a bad smell. At night my nose clogs up & I'm sure it's the air. Could anyone please give me some advice? I rent in a condo & am wanting to know it there's something wrong with the air conditioning & if I can make the landlord pay for my having to pay an extra $25 a month for the filters. Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:18 PM
 
27,211 posts, read 20,216,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adbl8 View Post
Within two weeks, my filter is already a medium/dark shade of gray. By the end of the month it's a very very dark grey/almost black. So, I'm thinking about changing my air filter again, even though I just purchased one two weeks ago. I have one pet, don't smoke, don't open windows, & am very clean. I called Home Depot, & the guy working was rude & said that's fine & you should change it every month. But when the air conditioner comes on, I can feel warm air at first & there is also a bad smell. At night my nose clogs up & I'm sure it's the air. Could anyone please give me some advice? I rent in a condo & am wanting to know it there's something wrong with the air conditioning & if I can make the landlord pay for my having to pay an extra $25 a month for the filters. Thanks!
Is it a pleated filter or a fiberglass woven one?
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:52 PM
 
7 posts, read 59,806 times
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It is a pleated filter.
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton
9,342 posts, read 16,164,004 times
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It sounds as though you have a mold problem.
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
14,097 posts, read 13,910,183 times
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I have some questions for you. Is this a home with an attic? I ask because my parent's home has an AC unit in a closet. There was a gap which allowed the dusty blown in insulation to be drawn in from the attic and into the air filter. I installed some weather stripping in key places and this greatly reduced the problem. Do you live in an area surrounded by trees, pollenating plants, or dusty road? Sometimes this stuff can be drawn into the home but it wouldn't account for the amount of dirt your filter is picking up unless the building is very drafty. Is your air ducts in the attic? If so, in the early morning hours go into the attic with a flashlight and inspect your air ducts for damage and air leaks. I would ask to have the AC serviced before winter comes. Have them remove and clean the coils and condensate drain pan. Have them clean the fan and check the furnace for proper operation.
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:21 PM
 
7 posts, read 59,806 times
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No, I live in a condominium. I am on the first floor. The air filter is in the kitchen just above the kitchen floor. There's a little door above it that opens into a tiny tiny room that has the air conditioner & some huge thingy that I don't know what is. I don't own this place but rent it.

Does this sound like a problem that I can call my landlord about?
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
3,293 posts, read 10,411,264 times
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The filter is collecting air from the inside of the house, then putting it thru the system and coming out the supply registers. If it's getting dirty, then there is something in the air of the house.

If the unit has not been on for a while, it is not uncommon for it to be warm air at first. It's just pushing out the warm air the is sitting in the ducts. It takes a few minutes for the /ac to make things cool.

The odd smell is something else. That could come from so many things its very hard to pin point them all here. Could be anything from dirty coils to a dead animal in the duct.

Once a month is normal for changing filters. How far away is the laundry room? Is the dryer venting outside OK? Is there a bunch of lint behind the dryer? Check that first.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
14,097 posts, read 13,910,183 times
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You said the filter is in the kitchen. Do you do a lot of cooking? Oils and moisture can expand the filter fibers reducing the air flow (moisture expanded filters) and collect more dirt particles (oils).

What brand of air filter are you using? Is it 3M Filtrete? If it is, is it the purple, red, or blue label filter? If it's the purple then you're probably spending more than you need. The purple label is about as close to HEPA as you can get and it can reduce the amount of air flow. The red and blue lable Filtrete is usually about the most you really need. If good clean air is your desire then set the fan from auto to on and let the fan run continously. The compressor will only come on when needed.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:30 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,294 posts, read 14,011,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIF View Post
It sounds as though you have a mold problem.
I agree. Mold and/or mildew.

My guess is that the air ducts need to be professionally cleaned, but I doubt that any landlord is going to be very happy to do that.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:52 PM
 
7 posts, read 59,806 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks for all the help you guys! The washer/dryer is pretty close to the filter, although it does have double doors to close it off. I don't do too much cooking with oils/pots/pans. Maybe once or twice a week.

I tried calling my landlord but he hasn't called me back yet. Typical.

I also called Home Depot, & one person said it's normal because where I live it is very dry. But, then another said it wasn't normal & that the filter should be light grey to medium grey at the end of the month. *sigh* I don't know...

I don't remember the brand I am using. I know it's supposed to have HEPA, but I don't think it's 3M. I guess I'm just screwed & have to change out my filter twice a month...

Thanks again.
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