If you are one of those people that forgets to clean your air conditioning unit filter throughout the warm months, this article will explain what happens when you don’t clean your air conditioner filter. Does my air filter need to be changed? Short answer: yes!
The air filter of your air conditioner is not just part of the unit to help the air that comes out of it stay clean, it actually plays a very important role in the overall operation of your air conditioner. By changing or cleaning the air filter, you are doing one of the most important steps that you can possibly take to head off potential problems while also improving the energy efficiency level of your unit and will allow you to avoid spending your hard-earned cash on air conditioning repairs.
Potential Issues from a Dirty Air Conditioner Filter
There are many issues that can happen if you do not know when to replace air filters in your home. What happens if you don’t clean your air conditioner filter? Let’s find out:
Freezing Up: When your air conditioner’s filter is clean, the air can flow freely out of your unit, but if your air filter is dirty, it will restrict that flow of cold air, which can then cause it to build up inside of the unit and lower the internal temperature, which could result in ice forming on the coils of your air conditioner which means it will eventually freeze up.
Short-Cycling: Your air conditioner is designed to cycle on and off throughout the day and night, but if your air conditioner filter is dirty, it can make those cycles happen more frequently than they are supposed to. This will cause more noise from your unit, along with temperature changes that are not comfortable, and energy waste.
Allergen Buildup: A major issue with not cleaning your air conditioner’s filter at least once a month will cause many people to have respiratory allergy issues. Also, if someone already suffers from asthma or some other respiratory illness, a dirty filter can cause even more problems for that person since allergens can be released into the air from the forced air system of your air conditioner. You could even have a buildup of mold in the ducts of your air conditioning unit if you do not keep the filter clean.
Uneven Cooling: dirty filters can cause your air conditioning unit to have a restricted amount of airflow which is not good for your system’s overall cooling power. This will cause more hot spots and cold spots throughout your home or business, yet you will be paying more money and energy costs for temperatures that are uncomfortable.
Longevity of the Unit: if your air conditioner is maintained properly, it will last longer than if it is not. By cleaning or replacing your air filter, you will stop any dust, dirt, and debris from building up inside your air conditioner’s internal components, which means fewer major air conditioning maintenance issues or repairs you will have down the road.
Reduction of Unit’s System Efficiency: while purchasing a replacement filter may be a little pricey, you will actually save money in the end since an air conditioning unit with a dirty filter will use much more power to cool your home so you will end up paying more in energy bills.
It is imperative that you properly maintain your air conditioning unit. You should definitely clean or replace your air conditioner’s filter at least once every month. If your unit has a filter you can clean, you need to handle it carefully when removing or putting it back into the unit. You can rinse it off with water and then allow it to completely dry out before putting it back in.
If you have an air conditioning unit that sports disposable filters, be sure to get the proper replacement that is specifically designed for your unit. You may pay a little more, but you will get that money back in lower utility bills due to the increased efficiency of your system as well as its better performance.
Keep in mind that you should never allow your air conditioner to operate without a filter in place. Without a filter, your air conditioning unit will pull in debris, dust, dirt, and allergens that will build up on the internal components of your air conditioner which will cause you issues down the road.