The short answer to this question is, “yes,” but don’t worry, we will elaborate below…
Many homeowners don’t realize the true nature of the standard HVAC air filter, thinking that it has to do with their indoor air quality. This air filter does help with your indoor air quality, but its purpose goes beyond that. In fact, if you’re relying only on this air filter to protect your indoor air quality, then you’re likely not doing enough–but that’s a subject for another day.
The purpose of this particular air filter is to protect the interior components of the HVAC system itself from dust, dirt, and other debris that can get inside and damage its components. It’s a very small part of your air conditioner, but it has a pretty big job! As you might guess, it gets clogged up with dust and other debris over time, and therefore, it has to be changed out.
Changing Your Air Filter Improves Comfort
As we mentioned above, the air filter is a small, but important, component of your air conditioner. It stands between the intake air and your air conditioning system. A clogged filter, therefore, will prevent air from circulating through the vents.
In other words, it can prevent your air conditioner from being able to effectively do its job and provide your home with cooled air. And this kind of discomfort is only the beginning of the problem.
A Clogged Air Filter Can Lead to a Leaky Air Conditioner
The way your central air conditioner operates is that it absorbs heat from the air in your home, and then as refrigerant evaporates in the indoor evaporator coil, it absorbs that heat. When the air filter gets too clogged up with debris, the warm air is limited and therefore the evaporator coil has no heat to absorb, and freezes.
When your air conditioner isn’t running, the ice on the evaporator coil will thaw, and water can leak into your home, causing structural damage. A frozen coil is a definite sign of a problem, and it might be due to other issues with the air conditioner. But changing your air filter every 1-3 months is at least one way to prevent it from happening.
Changing Your Air Filter Keeps Your Energy Bills Down
Your blower fan has to work harder to try to bring in the right amount of air when you have a clogged-up air filter that’s blocking airflow. Changing this air filter on a regular basis is one of the easiest ways to lower your monthly utility bills.
A Clogged Air Filter Can Lead to System Damage
The fact is, your air conditioner was designed to take in a certain amount of air each time it cycles. When that airflow suffers, the components of the air conditioner have to work a lot harder in order to operate as they should. This means you can expect exacerbated wear and tear over the season, and as a result, your air conditioner may suddenly break down on you right when you need it the most.