Maintaining your air conditioner filter is essential for keeping your home's air quality in check and saving money on energy bills. But does a dirty air filter prevent an air conditioner from working? The answer is yes. Fortunately, there are many ways to keep your AC running efficiently for longer. All you need to do is clean or replace the filter regularly, depending on the type of filter.
A clear sign that the AC filter needs to be replaced is when the back of the unit is too hot. If the filter is heavily soiled, you may feel warm air coming out the back of the unit. A clogged filter forces the air conditioner to work harder to keep the house cool, leading to more frequent repairs and ultimately shortening the life of the unit. Reducing the load by simply changing the AC filter regularly can help you avoid this.
One of the immediate consequences of this is a drop in airflow from the ventilation grilles around your home, which leads to a decrease in comfort. Pressure on the blower motor will cause it to work harder, creating higher bills. There is also an increase in pressure throughout the ventilation system that can create air leaks in the ducts and cause problems with the air conditioner, such as frozen coils. An air filter that is too strong is bad news for an air conditioner.
The air conditioner filter isn't the most complicated part of an air conditioning system, but it can dramatically affect your efficiency and the air quality in your home. You don't want to go wrong and end up with a filter that doesn't stop pollutants in the air or that grieves the air conditioner. If your air conditioner uses a reusable air filter, you don't have to buy a new filter every time you maintain the air conditioner. Pleated filters made of disposable nonwoven fabric have smaller pores, and the pleats increase the surface area of the filter so that it can contain more particles than a flat surface.
Particulate capture efficiency increases as the filter becomes dirty; accumulation in the fibers reduces openings for air to pass through and allows the filter to capture more particles. When you change your air conditioner filter every month during peak cooling season, you can save about 15% each month on utilities, as well as avoid repair problems due to airflow restrictions. If you've never changed your AC filter, it's best to have an HVAC technician do it for you at least once. In general, filters with a MERV 16 rating or lower are considered HVAC system grade filters for residential, commercial, and general hospital use. If you notice that your air conditioner doesn't cool down as it normally does or blows hot air, check your AC filter first. To clean a reusable air filter, remove it from the unit safely and rinse it in a tub or sink with warm water.
If you neglected to change your AC filter for some time, it's very likely that a lot of dust will accumulate inside the ducts. Keeping your AC running efficiently requires regular maintenance and changing your air conditioner filter on time. Doing so can reduce energy consumption by 5-15%, save money on utilities, and improve comfort levels in your home.