Homeowners often don’t realize this–or perhaps they’re even in a little bit of denial about it–but a dirty air filter can actually cause a great deal of trouble for their air conditioners.
Now, you’ve probably seen us talk about dirty air filters before–we recommend changing yours every 1-3 months. But it’s probably not for the reason you think. The reason we suggest this is not for your indoor air quality like you might assume, but to protect the air conditioner itself.
You see, this filter is in place to block particles and contaminants from damaging the inside of your HVAC system by pummeling it or jamming the fan. When an AC system is too dirty, it can accumulate a lot of problems. Read on to learn more about what these problems are.
Dirty Air Filters Decrease Home Comfort
Your air conditioner’s filter may seem like a very small component in comparison to the rest of the system, and it is. However, this can be deceptive. The air filter is what stands between the intake air and your HVAC system–so a clogged filter will prevent air from circulating through the vents.
In other words, you won’t have enough air making its way into your home to keep cool or warm when wintertime comes and you start using your furnace. When you have uneven temperatures throughout your living space like this, or if the temperature doesn’t actually match what your thermostat is set to, a clogged air filter can absolutely be the culprit.
The Evaporator Coil May Freeze
Ice is never a normal part of the cooling process, even though it may seem like it. Your air conditioner operates by absorbing heat from the air within your living space. As refrigerant evaporates in the evaporator coil, it is able to absorb the heat. When you have a clogged up air filter, though, warm air is limited and the coil can freeze.
The ironic part about this is that the ice insulates the coil, making it harder for the coil to actually absorb heat. Also, as the ice thaws, water can leak into your home and cause significant property damage. A frozen coil is a sure sign of a problem, and it can be due to other problems unrelated to your air filter, but it’s always a good idea to check here first.
Another thing to note–if you change your air filter and still discover ice development, please don’t try to remove it yourself. This can damage the system further. Give our team a call!
Your HVAC System Will Work Inefficiently
Airflow is restricted in and out of your air conditioner when you have a clogged air filter. As a result, the compressor will run longer as it tries to achieve the temperature you set on the thermostat. This means it’s using more energy than it should have to, working inefficiently and costing you more to run it than it should cost you.