Most homeowners misunderstand the point of the air filter within their HVAC system. They think it is there mainly to protect against allergens and particles in their indoor air. This is partially correct, but not the main purpose nor the reason you should change said filter every 1-3 months.
So if you aren’t suffering from allergies at the moment, that doesn’t mean you get to escape the need of changing your air filter.
While helping your indoor air quality is a minor benefit of your HVAC air filter, it’s actually there to protect the interior components of your HVAC systems. Read on to learn more, and to see just how a dirty air filter can, in fact, hurt your HVAC system.
Dirty Air Filters Are a Threat to Your Comfort
Your HVAC air filter is located between the intake air and your HVAC system. So, a clogged air filter will prevent air from circulating through your vents. In other words, you won’t have enough air to stay cool (or warm, if you’re reading this during one of our brief but chilly winters). As a result, your household will feel less comfortable.
If you notice hot spots throughout your home, or if your thermostat says one temperature and you feel like it’s inaccurate, a clogged air filter might be to blame. But, as we’re about to delve into, your comfort is just part of the problem.
Clogged Air Filters and AC Leakage
The way your cooling system functions is by absorbing heat from the air within your home. When the refrigerant inside your system evaporates in the condenser unit, the evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air blowing over said coil.
However, if your air filter is too clogged up with debris, then warm air is restricted, which can and will cause this coil to freeze over. This is both a symptom of a problem and a cause of a problem. As ironic as this seems, a frozen coil can’t absorb heat, and this causes low airflow going into your home. Additionally, as the ice thaws, the water will have nowhere to go except onto and into your property.
A frozen evaporator coil can actually have a few different causes if it’s not the air filter to blame. So if you had the ice removed by a professional and the air filter has been changed but you still notice the problem, please alert our pros.
Clogged Air Filters and Lowered Efficiency
When your HVAC air filter is too clogged, the blower fan has to struggle to work and bring in the right amount of air. Changing your air filter on a routine basis restores proper airflow throughout the ventilation system. As a result, it will keep your monthly utility bills down where they should be as it will boost HVAC efficiency.
Avoid Irreversible HVAC Damage
The fact of the matter is, your forced-air cooling systems and heaters are designed to take in a certain amount of air every time they go through a cycle. Therefore, if you have a clogged air filter blocking airflow, the components of your cooling or heating system have to work harder to do their job. This means you can expect accelerated wear and tear over the season, and your HVAC system can fail right when you need it the most.