Can a Dirty Air Filter Mess Up Your AC?

Learn how a dirty AC filter can cause your air conditioner to overheat and fail. Find out how to clean or replace your filter regularly to keep your AC running efficiently.

Can a Dirty Air Filter Mess Up Your AC?

An overheated air conditioner can be a sign that your AC filter is clogged. When the filter is dirty, the air conditioning unit has to work harder to keep the room cool, resulting in more heat being produced. A clean air filter won't stop air from entering and leaving your unit, but a dirty one will restrict the flow of cold air, causing it to build up inside the air conditioning unit and lower the temperature. This can lead to ice forming on the air conditioning coils or evaporator, reducing the HVAC system's ability to remove heat from the air and eventually causing the air conditioner to fail.

If your AC is producing warm air instead of cooling cold air, it's likely due to a dirty filter. To clean the filter, simply remove it from your oven, remove dirt, and thoroughly clean it by running it in warm water. While a dirty filter can prevent an air conditioner from working properly, there are many ways to keep your AC well-maintained and running efficiently for longer. Replacing or cleaning your filter regularly before it becomes too dirty is one of the most important steps you can take. A dirty AC filter will allow dust, dander, and debris that should be filtered into your air duct system. If you have pets or use cleaning chemicals regularly, dander, cleaning particles, dust, and other debris can get trapped in the filter and then be released into the air.

A dirty filter creates a layer of dirt, dust and dander that restricts the amount of air that the air conditioner receives and puts pressure on the blower. Most homeowners tend to forget to change their filters until their AC stops working. Dirty filters keep your air conditioner running at a lower efficiency, which means it doesn't cool your home as well as it should and can end up costing you more money in the long run.

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