Signs That it’s Time to Change Your Filter

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Do you have a piece of equipment that isn’t functioning properly? Aside from mechanical problems, the solution could be as easy as changing the filter. Whether we’re talking about the air filter on your air conditioner or the fuel filter on a vehicle, a dirty or clogged filter can affect the way your system runs, and not changing it regularly can lead to bigger and more costly problems down the road. Many people change them on a time system, usually twice a year, when normal seasonal maintenance takes place. However, there are signs that it’s time for a change. Read on to learn more.

Air Filters

Air filters are a component of all types of engines from cars to air conditioners to vacuum cleaners. If you’re noticing an increase in allergy symptoms, a change in temperature (overheating), rising energy costs or a degradation in system performance, one of the first things to check is the filter. A clogged air filter in household appliances and systems allows dust, dirt and allergens to remain in the air; in a vehicle, you’ll find road dust and debris creeping in a mucking up your engine and other components.

Fuel Filters

Any vehicle or piece of machinery that uses gas or oil has a fuel filter. A clogged filter will allow impurities to infiltrate your car, truck or even gas-powered lawn mower. Symptoms include:

  • shaky engine when idling in neutral or at a stop
  • difficulty starting the engine or keeping it running, especially at low speeds
  • non-starting engines

Although these problems may have other causes, a mechanic will look at the filter first to rule that out as a culprit.

Hydraulic Filters

Hydraulic systems are not the same as water filtration systems, which have a different set of symptoms, including bad taste, odor or color. On an industrial hydraulic system, the first signs of a filter clog are a loud bang or knocking sound, abnormally high fluid temperatures and slower equipment function.

Donaldson Filters dealers are among the many available suppliers for hydraulic, fuel and air filters for home or industrial systems and equipment. You can obtain a new filter by ordering online, going to your local hardware store or visiting a supplier in your local area. Either bring the old filter in for a swap or write down the model number to ensure that you get the right replacement.