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How A Dirty AC Air Filter Can Impact Your HVAC System

dirty ac air filter

Your air conditioner’s air filter plays an essential role in the proper operation of your system. The ac air filter is not just to help keep the air clean. Regularly replacing or cleaning the air filter before it turns into a dirty ac filter is one of the most important steps you can take to maintain your air conditioner in tip top shape. A dirty ac air filter can wreak havoc on your HVAC system leading to costly repairs or a complete breakdown when you need your air conditioning the most. A clean air filter can improve energy efficiency and help you avoid a costly air conditioning repair. Below we discuss how a dirty ac filter can impact your HVAC system.

Reduced Air Flow

A dirty air filter is the #1 cause for HVAC system failure as it makes it harder for your unit to work properly and efficiently. A dirty filter restricts the airflow into your HVAC system and places an additional strain on the unit. Over time, the increased wear and tear can burn out the fan motor, overheat your system, and cause a complete breakdown earlier than it would. Whereas, a properly maintained system can increase the lifespan of your system. Furthermore, a clean filter helps to stop dust and debris buildup on the internal components of your HVAC system. Regularly replacing your air filter is an easy step you can take to extend the life of one the biggest investments in your home.  

High Energy Bills

An air conditioner with a dirty air filter will lead to high energy bills. A dirty air filter caused your entire unit to work harder than it normally does and use more power to cool your home. If you are holding off replacing your filter because of the cost, it can only be more costly in the long run. In fact, according to the US Department of Energy, a clogged dirty air filter can cause a 15% increase in energy usage.

Short Cycling

Your HVAC system is going to occasionally cycle on and off throughout the day, but a dirty air filter can cause those cycles to become more frequent. Frequent cycling can lead to noise pollution, wasted energy, and uncomfortable temperature changes.

Frozen AC

A clean air filter will not impede air flow in and out of your unit. However, a dirty air filter will restrict the flow of cold air, causing it to build up inside the ac unit and lower the temperature. If your air filter clogs during summer cooling season, the buildup of the cold air can lead to ice forming on the ac coils or evaporator. The freezing will reduce the HVAC system’s ability to remove heat from the air and eventually cause your air conditioner to breakdown.

Decreased Comfort

Even if decreased air flow does not cause freezing the restricted airflow will not provide adequate cooling power. A dirty air filter results in less cool air and decreased comfort for you and your family. Blower fans push air through the filter. A dirty air filter creates a layer of dirt, dust and dander that restricts the amount of air that your air conditioner takes in and placing a strain on the blower. The reduced air flow can create hot and cold spots in your home, making it harder to reach your desired indoor temperature at an increased cost.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

A dirty ac air filter will allow dust, dander and debris it should be filtering into your air duct system. Over time, the dirt that accumulates in your ducts will be distributed throughout your home and into the air you breathe. It is especially important for you to change your filter regularly if anyone in your home suffers from asthma or respiratory allergies. A dirty air filter will lead to poor indoor air quality and can cause allergens to build up in your system causing respiratory issues or even mold in your ducts.

Furnace Failure

Not only will a dirty air filter cause an inefficient, improperly working air conditioner it can also cause damage to your furnace. Keep in mind a clogged air filter is the primary cause of equipment failure. The overworked blower may fail entirely causing the whole HVAC system to fail an outcome that can be costly to repair or replace.

Keep Your HVAC System Maintained

If you want to prevent any of the issues mentioned above check your filter once a month and replace or clean it before it is clogged. If your air conditioner has a reusable filter, clean it and let it dry completely before placing it back in. If your HVAC system uses a disposable filter, be sure to replace it with one that is sized and designed specifically for your system. We recommend at least checking your air filter once a month, but advanced filters can last a bit longer. It is best to consult the manufacturer for a recommended replacement schedule. Also, it is especially important that you do not let your air conditioner run without a filter ever. Without a filter your unit will allow dust and debris to enter the internal components of your system leading to potential catastrophic issues down the road. Regular maintenance is not only important to keep your HVAC system running efficiently and properly, but to keep your warranty valid as well.

Give Us A Call Today

Contact LA Construction, Heating and Air today at 818-341-3406 to schedule ac maintenance or furnace maintenance. We offer single visits, bi-annual plans and custom plans to fit your needs best. Your air filters are a vital part of your heating and cooling system. Do not let a dirty ac filter keep you from being comfortable in your own home or lead to costly repairs. Replacing your air filters is an easy affordable step you can take compared to the cost of repair or potentially replacing your HVAC system.

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