The air filter is one of the simplest yet most important components to keeping your air conditioner cooling effectively. However, it’s also often neglected, leaving you to wonder why your AC system isn’t running as efficiently in your Boonsboro, MD, home. Consider these seven problems a dirty AC filter can create:
More Frequent Allergy Attacks
Your AC filter removes airborne contaminants before your system can cycle them throughout your home. However, over time, those concentrated particles become problematic for allergy suffers.
As your AC filter clogs, it creates an airflow restriction, creating leaks. These leaks then allow unfiltered air through, including additional loose contaminants that collected on the filter. This increased number of contaminants in the system will circulate back into your home, increasing the number of allergens.
A high concentration of airborne contaminants defines poor air quality. Those additional contaminants cause sinus and respiratory irritation in addition to the aforementioned allergy response.
It’s common knowledge that when you’re fighting an allergic response, you’re more susceptible to additional illness. This happens because your immune system is also responsible for dealing with allergens in addition to contagions. Allowing your filter to get overly dirty increases the risk of recurrent sinus and respiratory infections for even healthy individuals.
Less Cooling Capacity
Your air conditioner must draw air in, absorb its heat and then push the cooled air back into your home. As previously mentioned, dirty air filters cause an airflow restriction at the beginning of this process.
The impact of cooling your home is less air flowing into the system in the first place. Less air flowing in means less air coming out. Less air flowing in may also cause frozen coils, which further restricts the airflow coming from your vents.
More Frequent Breakdowns
Less air flowing adds strain to the system, leading to additional electrical draw, heat and wear. With that additional wear, the components break down more quickly, leading to AC repairs. Simply replacing your AC filter reduces the strain and is part of ensuring your components last their expected service life.
Your air conditioner works by absorbing heat from the air that moves through the system. It does this by making the refrigerant frigid at the condensing coil.
The refrigerant can become too cold when it’s not absorbing heat because of a lack of airflow through the system. This causes a freeze at the evaporator coils inside, which leads to ice buildup and short cycling.
The ice that forms on the coils thaws when the system shuts down to protect it from damage. As this continues happening, the amount of moisture can be more than it can drain through the condensate drain. This leads to excess moisture around your unit and potentially water damage if you have anything nearby.
Increased Cooling Costs
Airflow restrictions initially cause your system to run longer cooling cycles to try to achieve your desired temperature. What should be a 10- to 15-minute cycle turns into running nearly continuously. When the system runs longer, it uses more energy.
If your system is short cycling due to restricted airflow at the filter, you’ll have even more energy consumption. The start of the cycle uses the most energy to get the compressor running. Short cycling means more starts, thereby using considerably more energy.
Shorter AC System Life
A properly maintained air conditioner should have a service life of 10 to 15 years. However, neglect that system to the point where air cannot flow through it, and you’ll start cutting years off. The same strain causes individual components to wear out more quickly, eventually leading to a catastrophic failure.
Changing your AC filter is only the start of the maintenance you’ll need to avoid these problems. Your system also needs deeper cleaning and component testing and tuning. Call to schedule your AC maintenance with our award-winning service technicians at Hagerstown Heating & Cooling today.
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