While your air conditioner's filter may play a role in improving the air quality inside your home, its main job is protecting your HVAC. This is why changing the filter on schedule is so important. If you don't, it's only a matter of time until you'll need some form of AC repair done. Here's a look at the importance of the filter in your air conditioning system and what can happen if you don't change it regularly.
What The AC Filter Does
The air that's pulled into your air conditioning system passes through the filter before it goes into the HVAC. This removes things like dust and animal hair so they don't clog up the components inside the air conditioner. Pulling particles from the air helps keep your air clean too, but the filter has the important job of keeping everything inside the AC unit clean.
What Happens When The AC Filter Clogs
Since the filter works nonstop when the AC runs, it is constantly collecting dust and other airborne particles. Eventually, a dust mat coats the filter. When this happens, the AC struggles to pull air through the clog. This struggle causes strain on your HVAC that can run up your energy bill and wear out your equipment. The reduced airflow can even cause your HVAC to overheat and shut down.
Another problem with a dirty filter is that it allows dust and pet hairs to enter the air conditioning unit. This happens because the HVAC might pull air in around the clogged filter and this air isn't filtered. Plus, dust and other particles may get pulled inside. too. This debris coats parts of the HVAC that can lead to overheating or ice buildup on the coils.
What Repairs May Be Needed DueTo AC Filter Neglect
Unfortunately, a neglected filter can lead to costly AC repairs that could have been prevented by changing the filter on time. The technician may need to clean the inside of your HVAC to get the dust off of the coils or blower fan. If dust caused damage due to the debris or overheating, parts in the blower motor or other components may need to be replaced. If repairs are not done in time, your AC may short cycle and run up your power bill or the coils may ice over and shut down your air conditioning. When dust or overheating causes your AC to stop working in the middle of summer, you may need to pay for emergency AC repair so you can cool your house down as quickly as possible.
What You Can Do To Prevent Filter Problems
Avoid problems with your AC caused by a clogged filter by changing the filter on schedule. Look in your owner's manual for the frequency to change the filter, but keep in mind that you might need to change it more often if your house is dusty or if you have a lot of pets. It's a good practice to check your filter monthly and change it if you see dust. Buying a new filter is just a fraction of the cost of an AC repair service call, and it's a good way to prevent problems with your air conditioner.
For more information on AC repairs that you may need, contact an HVAC contractor.