There’s a fairly common misconception out there about air filters. Many homeowners believe that its only purpose is to prevent allergens and pollutants from entering and contaminating your indoor air—and that’s the reason technicians tell you to clean or replace it once a month. This isn’t the whole truth, however.
The air filter that comes standard with your HVAC system is in place to do more than just preventing allergens from moving back into your airstream. It actually blocks dirt, dust, and other debris from the inside of your air conditioner, protecting the system itself! When an air filter is too dirty, though, the impact on your air conditioner can be just as negative. Wondering why? Read on!
A Dirty Air Filter Makes You Less Comfortable
Your air filter is a small component of your home comfort system, but it has a big job. It stands between the intake air and your air conditioning system (as well as your furnace or heat pump). A clogged up air filter will prevent air from circulating through the vents.
In other words, you won’t actually feel all the cooled air coming through your vents. When you have hot spots around your home, or cold spots throughout your home in the winter, it’s a sign that something is blocking airflow, and it could very well be the air filter to blame.
You May Experience AC Leakage
AC systems operate by absorbing heat from the air in your household. As refrigerant evaporates in the indoor evaporator coil, it’s able to absorb heat from air blowing over the coil. But, when the air filter is too clogged up, warm air is limited. This can cause the coil to freeze.
As that frozen coil thaws, water can leak into your home, which can easily create structural damage. A frozen coil is a sure sign of a problem, and it might be due to other issues with the AC system—so if the problem doesn’t resolve itself by changing or cleaning your air filter, it’s definitely time to call in a pro!
Your Energy Bills Have Spiked
The blower fan of your air conditioner has to work a lot harder to bring in the right amount of air when a clogged filter is disrupting airflow. Changing the air filter on a regular basis is one of the simplest ways to lower your monthly utilities.
You Can Experience AC/Heating Damage
The fact of the matter is, your home comfort systems were designed to take in a set amount of air each time they cycle on. When this airflow suffers, the components of your HVAC systems have to work harder to do their jobs. This means you can expect increased wear and tear over the season—and your AC system or heater can fail when you need it the most. Checking and changing your air filters on a regular basis and scheduling annual maintenance is the best way to ensure your air conditioner (and heater) lasts a long time with few problems!