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The Effects of a Dirty Air Filter

man holding air filter on a white backgroundIf you’ve been reading our blog, you may have seen us mention before the importance of changing your air filter. Maybe you think this is because a dirty air filter contaminates your indoor air, and this is why we urge homeowners to clean or replace theirs every 1-3 months. We understand why you’d assume this, but it’s not actually the case.

The air filter that comes standard with your HVAC systems is in place to block particles and contaminants from damaging the inside of the HVAC systems themselves, by pummeling or jamming the fan or building up on other indoor components. When an air filter is too dirty, it can do just as much damage by now allowing for proper airflow and causing your air conditioner to work harder than it should have to in order to do its job—essentially leading to the need for potentially costly professional AC repair, and maybe even premature cooling system replacement.

Keep reading to learn more about the impact that a dirty air filter has on your cooling system.

It Reduces Your Comfort Level

Your air filter likely seems like small, inconsequential component within your climate control system—and physically, it is! But don’t let this fool you—the air filter is what stands between the intake air and your air conditioner. Therefore, a clogged filter will restrict air from circulating through your vents.

In other words, there won’t be enough air making its way into your home to keep cool (or to keep warm in the winter). When you have uneven temperatures throughout your home, or if the temperature doesn’t seem to match up with the thermostat, a clogged air filter can absolutely be the culprit. And this is just the beginning of what a dirty air filter can do.

It Can Cause Your AC System to Leak

Air conditioners operate by absorbing heat from the air in your home and expelling it outdoors. As refrigerant evaporates on the indoor evaporator coil, it absorbs that heat from air blowing over the coil. However, if the air filter is too clogged, that warm air is limited, which can cause the coil to freeze over.

Once that occurs, you have ice which can thaw, causing water to leak into your home and leading to property damage (and potentially even system damage give that electrical components and water don’t mix!) It’s important here to note that a clogged air filter is not the only thing that can cause a frozen coil, though, so if you change your air filter and still notice the problem, be sure to give us a call right away.

It Will Increase Your Energy Bills

As we alluded to above, the blower fan within your HVAC systems has to work harder to bring in the right amount of conditioned air, when a dirty air filter is blocking airflow. Changing your filter on a regular basis (every 1-3 months) is one of the easiest ways to lower your monthly energy bills—or at least, maintain them.

At Comfort Incorporated, we keep your family safe, healthy and comfortable—call today, service today!

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