You probably know you should change your HVAC filter regularly, but you may not realize just how important it is. You don't want to be lax about changing the filter.
A dirty filter has a serious impact on the functioning of your air conditioner or furnace. So much so that a clogged filter can lead to the need for expensive repairs. Here are three problems that can arise from a dirty HVAC filter.
1. Your Air Conditioner Can Freeze Over
You might be shocked to see your air conditioner covered in ice on a hot summer day, but that can happen when the filter is so clogged that airflow is restricted. When not enough air circulates around the coils, the refrigerant that cools the coils causes the condensation to freeze.
The ice that forms causes the problem to keep escalating until your air conditioner is covered in ice. This is a bad situation because your AC won't be able to keep your home cool until the problem is fixed. In the best case scenario, changing the filter and allowing the ice to thaw might fix the problem.
However, if the low airflow and ice buildup cause damage, you may need to have repairs that could have been avoided by changing the filter on time.
2. Your Furnace May Short Cycle
A short-cycling furnace is one that runs for a short period and then shuts off again. Short-cycling puts undue strain on the furnace and causes it to wear down. If the problem isn't corrected, it can lead to damage of the limit switch. Your furnace may even stop working altogether.
A clogged filter restricts airflow through the air handler of the HVAC unit, which causes the furnace to overheat and trip the limit switch. The limit switch is a safety mechanism that keeps your furnace from running when it isn't safe to do so.
Another problem with a clogged furnace filter is that it allows debris to get inside the blower of the air handler. Dust on the blower can also cause the furnace to malfunction. Changing the filter regularly helps prevent these problems, but to keep your furnace in its best working order, you should also have the blower assembly cleaned on a regular schedule.
3. Your Indoor Air Quality May Suffer
The filter on your HVAC traps dust and small particulates to protect your furnace, and in doing so keeps them from recirculating in your home. If the filter is clogged with dust, it can't remove additional particles. If you're sensitive to allergens, particles might cause you to experience more symptoms such as a stuffy nose.
To protect your furnace and keep your indoor air quality as clean as you can, you should change the filter as often as recommended by the manufacturer. You may need to change the filter monthly, but the important thing is to change it before dust clogs the surface.
As an added benefit, your HVAC will operate more efficiently since it won't struggle with low airflow problems. A more efficient HVAC could result in a lower monthly electric bill.
Changing your HVAC filter regularly helps prevent these problems and as a side effect, it helps your HVAC have a longer life with fewer breakdowns. You might struggle to believe that something simple like a dirty filter could cause so much damage, but the unfortunate part is the damage could be prevented.
While changing your HVAC filter is vital to the efficient operation of your furnace and air conditioner, that's not the only thing necessary to keep your HVAC in good shape. Regular HVAC maintenance and prompt repairs are also important.
If your HVAC needs cleaned, serviced, or repaired, call Alabama Climate Control Inc. for fast and professional attention. We're ready to help.