With summer well underway, it’s time to start using our air conditioners on a routine basis, if you’re not already doing so. This also means it’s time to make sure your AC isn’t operating with a clogged air filter in it!
This doesn’t sound like an exciting task to manage, but we guarantee that leaving a clogged air filter in your cooling system will threaten your comfort, hurt your air conditioner, and cause your cooling bills to rise. Wouldn’t you like to avoid all that?
You might not realize how important a role your air filter plays in the overall performance of your air conditioner, but we’re here to fill you in. Read on to learn more about this HVAC component and how much power it has over your home comfort each summer.
Air Filters: What’s The Point?
First, there’s a common misconception among homeowners that the air filter that comes standard in their HVAC system is in place to protect their indoor air quality. While it certainly doesn’t hurt indoor air quality, its actual purpose is to protect the interior components of the air conditioner itself from dust, dirt, and other debris that can get in and cause the system harm.
The reason air filters need to be changed (or cleaned, if it’s a permanent filter) every 1-3 months is because if they get too clogged up, airflow in and out of the HVAC system is restricted, and this is where problems occur. If you don’t change your air filter on a regular basis, you’ll find yourself suffering from:
Decreased Energy Efficiency
When a clogged filter causes your air conditioner to struggle with circulating air through the home, the air conditioner runs longer to try to compensate and reach the desired setting on your thermostat anyway. This wastes energy that you’re still paying for while hurting your comfort.
What can also happen if an air filter is too clogged up is that the system short-cycles. This is the process where the system shuts off and turns back on in rapid succession. Short-cycling is inefficient because your air conditioner never actually finishes a full cooling cycle, and uses up too much energy turning on and off so many times each hour.
Increased Repair Needs
When your air conditioner has to run longer, and essentially work harder, than it normally should have to, there’s an accumulation of system wear and tear. This leads to operational issues for your air conditioner, and eventually a premature breakdown.
The last thing you need this summer is to be stuck dealing with expensive repairs or a premature system replacement when you weren’t budgeting for that this year. Changing your air filter is relatively simple, but managing a full air conditioner breakdown is not.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
As we stated above, the air filter is not responsible for improving your indoor air quality. But particles like dust and allergens do get drawn to it. If it’s too clogged though, and airflow is restricted, then it cannot capture as much debris as usual, therefore making your indoor air quality even worse.
On that note, whether you have a clogged air filter or not, we do provide many solutions for improving your indoor air quality in general! Be sure to reach out to our team for more information.