Can a Dirty Air Filter Affect Your Air Conditioner?

If the filter of your air conditioner is heavily soiled, you may feel warm air coming out the back of the unit. This will lead to more frequent air conditioning repairs and ultimately shorten the life of the unit. As a result of the buildup, a dirty filter will also cause poor cold air flow in the air conditioning system. That cold air will be trapped inside the air conditioner, causing ice to form on your coils.

Once that happens, the air conditioner will freeze and stop working. However, before your system completely freezes, there will be some telltale signs to watch out for. One of them is uneven cooling throughout the house. If you notice that some rooms are harder to cool than others, while others are constantly feeling cold, you'll want to check your air conditioner filter first.

The compressor is one of the most important and expensive components of an air conditioning system. If we have very dirty filters, the refrigerant cycle can be affected and cause excess liquid to reach the compressor (known as return flow). Replacing the compressor can be the most costly repair for an air conditioner, so it's worth considering whether it's better to do a full replacement or do the repair. One of the purposes of an air filter is to filter out all microscopic particles such as dust, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, plant spores and mold, and even smoke. Changing or cleaning your air filter is one of the most important steps you can take to maintain your air conditioner, as it avoids all of these potential problems, improves energy efficiency, and helps you avoid spending money on air conditioning repairs. Advanced filters can last a little longer between cleanings and replacements, so check with the manufacturer for a recommended program.

Remember that the main function of air conditioning filters is to prevent impurities, particles, germs and all kinds of harmful elements from entering the system and spreading through the indoor environment. Dirty filters often result in increased electrical energy consumption, as the system has to work harder to bring the room to the desired temperature. Air filters have a nominal cost compared to the cost of repairing or replacing your home's heating and cooling system. If you want to avoid any of these problems, check your filter once a month and replace or clean it before it becomes clogged. To clean the reusable air filter, remove it from the air conditioning unit and rinse it in a tub or sink with warm water. Take it out of the unit, rinse it with water and allow it to air dry completely before replacing it. Regular maintenance on your air conditioner's air filter is essential for avoiding costly repairs or a complete breakdown when you need your air conditioner most.

If you don't perform regular maintenance on your filter, you may eventually notice a problem in the form of higher monthly energy bills.

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