How a Dirty Air Filter Can Impact Your AC

Learn how dirty air filters can affect your AC's performance and lead to costly repairs or even complete breakdowns.

How a Dirty Air Filter Can Impact Your AC

When it comes to keeping your air conditioning system running smoothly, one of the most important things to consider is the air filter. A dirty air filter can have a significant impact on your AC's performance, leading to a range of issues that can be costly to repair. The air filter in your AC unit is responsible for trapping dust, dirt, and other particles from the air before they enter the system. Over time, these particles can build up and clog the filter, reducing the amount of cold air that can flow through the system.

As a result of the buildup, a dirty filter will also cause poor cold air flow in the air conditioning system, leading to ice forming on your coils and eventually causing the unit to freeze and stop working. When the AC filter is dirty, the air conditioning unit will work harder when turned on to keep the room cool. This will put more pressure on the air conditioner, causing it to produce a lot of heat. 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. This will lead to more frequent air conditioning repairs and ultimately shorten the life of the unit. Not only will this require you to pay for a unit to be repaired, but you may even have to replace it before it has passed its normal 10-15 year lifespan. A clear sign that the AC filter needs to be replaced is when the back of the unit is too hot.

Reduce the load by simply changing the AC filter regularly. When the air cleaner is dirty, it has difficulty operating efficiently and parts work harder than usual and ultimately break before their time. A clean air filter will not prevent airflow 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 air conditioning unit and lower the temperature. If this happens during summer cooling season, cold air buildup can cause ice to form on the air conditioning coils or evaporator, reducing its ability to remove heat from the air and eventually causing it to fail. The compressor is one of the most important and expensive components of an air conditioning system.

If we have very dirty filters, it can be affected and cause excess liquid to reach the compressor (known as return flow). Replacing the compressor can be one of the most costly repairs for an AC unit, so it's worth considering whether it's better to do a full replacement or do a repair. To keep your AC running efficiently for longer, there are many ways you can maintain it well. We recommend at least checking your air filter once a month, but advanced filters can last a little longer. To clean a reusable filter, remove it from your AC unit and rinse it in warm water. Dirty air filters keep your AC 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.

If you leave an AC filter clogged for too long, you may experience a system-wide failure. When an HVAC system's filter becomes too clogged, its fan has to work harder to get enough air in. Changing your filter regularly restores proper airflow through your ventilation system and helps keep your monthly utility bills low. If you notice that your AC isn't cooling down as it normally does or blows hot air, check its filter first. Although clogged filters are one of the most common problems affecting an AC's functionality, they're often overlooked and need attention most.

If your AC continues working, licensed technicians can take a look at your filter and clean or replace it if necessary. A dirty AC filter can wreak havoc on your HVAC system and lead to costly repairs or a complete breakdown when you need your AC most.

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