You are repeatedly told by the HVAC manufacturer and your local contractor to change the air filters periodically. But as is human nature, we just assume that they are doing so to earn a few extra bucks. Well, that is not actually the case. To remove this myth, we are going to tell you how dirty air filters can impact your air conditioner system. Hopefully, by the time you have read the complete article, you will not think twice about regularly changing them.
The Purpose Of Air Filters
To fully appreciate the importance of changing the air filters at frequent intervals, one needs to first understand their purpose. The air filters are a vital part of your heating and cooling system as they cleanse the circulating air. They are used to trap the solid contaminants, which could be anything from dust, pollen, and smoke, to grease or grime. Getting rid of these contaminants enhances the quality of the indoor air. Along with your health, the air filters also have a direct bearing on the energy efficiency and productive life of your AC.
Impact Of Dirty Air Filters On Your Air Conditioner System
1. Build Up Of Allergens – Air filters tend to become dirty over a period of time. Once they get clogged with dust and debris, they are unable to trap anymore suspended particles in the air. As a result, the allergens in the circulating air increase, and the quality of the indoor air deteriorates. On its own, you may think that this is not a big problem. However, if you live with the elderly or anyone in your home has asthma, they will suffer terribly. Similarly, colds, skin irritations, and watering eyes will be a common occurrence in your home.
2. Uneven Cooling – Think of the respiratory system. The amount you inhale decides the amount you exhale. If you cannot breathe-in properly and adequately, there is no way you can breathe-out suitably. The same is the case with your cooling system. Dirty air filters prevent your system from breathing appropriately. As such, it is unable to cool your home in the desired manner. Sometimes the cold air remains trapped behind the dirty air filters, and at others, it flows in sluggishly. What you ultimately land up with are hot and cold areas or rooms at different temperatures.
3. Short Cycling – Every air conditioner cycles on and off, depending on the climate and temperature settings throughout the day. When the air filter becomes excessively dirty, it can cause the air conditioner to cycle more frequently. This creates not just noise pollution but also the uncomfortable temperature inside the house. Both these occurrences kill the pleasure of relaxing indoors without any interruptions.
4. Freezing Of Coils – When the air filters are clean, they do not obstruct the flow of air from the unit. However, when there is a build-up of any sort, it acts as an impediment to the free flow of air from the system. This causes the cold air to get trapped inside and drastically lowers the temperature within the unit. The unit becomes chilly, and the moisture trapped by the coils starts to freeze, causing the icing of the coils. When the ice over the coils melts, it can make your AC unit leak water. These leaks further lead to mold infestation and wet spots in your clean home.
5. Reduced System Efficiency – The flow of air plays an essential role in maintaining the efficiency of the system. As we spoke above, dirty air filters cause short cycling and freezing of the coils. Both these occurrences push the air conditioner to work continuously to provide the necessary cooling. Instead of bringing down the temperature to a comfortable level inside the house, it consumes more power and still delivers insufficient output. In turn, you see a dramatic increase in your utility bills. So, one can rightly deduce that dirty air filters lower the efficiency of the AC.
6. Puts The System Under Strain – When the efficiency of the system is less, it needs to work harder to provide the same amount of cooling as before. This puts the AC under a lot of pressure due to which it can overheat, short-circuit, and sometimes, even malfunction. Either of these situations is not suitable for the health of your AC. It not only leads to more wear and tear of the components but can also lead to complete failure of one or more parts.
One-Stop Solution – Change Dirty Air Filters
All the air conditioner problems listed above occur only if you let the air filters become dirty and clogged. Thankfully changing them is not a big deal. The homeowners can do this themselves. So, if you want to save a few extra bucks, you can tackle the task yourself. However, take care to buy the same configuration filters as before. Most homeowners land up at the hardware store without the basic knowledge of what type of air filters they need. The best option is to take a pic of what is already installed in your home and look for the same type. Or you could ask your local HVAC technician to help you figure out the type and size of air filters needed for your AC. Remember, one size does not fit all. In case you still have any doubts, let your HVAC contractor take care of this small matter.
The Final Verdict
If you want to extend the life of your AC, you need to change the dirty air filters regularly in addition to its annual maintenance. We recommend that you change the air filters every month. However, the span can vary depending on their actual condition. If the filters look clean even after a month, you can wait a few days longer. But change them you must when they get dirty.
For the residents of West Palm Beach, Florida, you needn’t look any further than Aztil AC. We take care of any small to big matters related to your air conditioner. Our elite team of technicians specializes in everything HVAC and can be reached 24/7 at +1-888-729-8452.