Major Problems Caused by a Dirty HVAC Filter
There are many components that make your HVAC system a marvel of modern engineering. Under most circumstances, your HVAC system can function flawlessly with only basic air-conditioning and heating maintenance for long periods. Though there are occasionally reasons to call professionals specializing in air conditioner and home heating in Arizona, for the most part, your HVAC is one of the most reliable systems in your home.
However, to enjoy a full service life, there are a few tasks that must be performed with regularity to preserve your unit’s condition and keep it running efficiently. While many of those tasks are best performed by trained professional technicians, one of the most important routine maintenance assignments can be performed by homeowners themselves. Changing the air filter in your HVAC system takes minutes, but it’s one of the most important things you can do to keep your HVAC running smoothly and efficiently. If you fail to change your filter, the consequences can be steep. Continue reading to learn about what can happen to your HVAC system when you run it with a dirty filter.
If you consider your HVAC unit is the heart of your home heating and cooling system, then the ducts are the arteries. Your ductwork is the maze of pathways that the conditioned air follows after leaving the unit. Ducts carry the air to all corners of the house and helps balance temperatures. When your HVAC filter becomes clogged, dust and all kinds of other irritants can get trapped in it. Some, however, can break free over time, and they often come to settle in your ductwork. As the ducts distribute the air all over your house, they also will distribute irritants such as dust, pollen, and mold spores through the ductwork. Keeping your ducts clean is important for interior air quality, and the best way to maintain duct cleanliness is by regularly changing your filter.
Speaking of ducts, they can only do their job when there’s sufficient pressure from the unit to move air efficiently to the furthest reaches of the structure. However, that’s only possible when the intake of air into the system is unimpeded. A dirty filter creates an obstacle to adequate air flow at the intake, which means that air pressure is reduced coming out of the unit. With reduced pressure, heated or cooled air won’t reach the portions of your home that are furthest from the unit, and the velocity of the air coming out of the vents in all rooms will be reduced significantly. That will drive your energy prices higher since the unit will have to work harder to heat or cool the home.
In addition to the impact that reduced airflow can have on the efficiency of your HVAC unit, there’s a secondary impact that can occur when you’re using the air conditioner. The filter on your HVAC cleans the air as it enters your system. If the filter is dirty, then dust and other contaminants slip through. This dust can collect on the coil in your air conditioner, which is where the cooling of the air takes place. Dust on the coils can lead to frost formation which will make it increasingly difficult for the coil to perform the primary roll of cooling air. This will impact your energy bill and, over time, will lead to a costly coil replacement.
Increased Load and Premature Failure
When the filter is clogged, your HVAC system must work harder to compensate. The cascade of problems that comes from a dirty air filter can not only hamper performance and lead to costly repair bills, but it can also cut short the lifespan of your HVAC system. For example, the extra strain of pulling air through a clogged filter can damage your blower and cause it to fail earlier than it should. An inefficient air conditioner or short-cycling heater, both caused by dirty filters, can make your system run longer and more frequently, which shaves years off its service life. Replacing your filter regularly can prevent this excess wear and allow you to enjoy a full lifespan for your HVAC unit.
One of the most important maintenance tasks you can perform on your HVAC system is also one of the easiest, so make sure to change your HVAC filter often. Doing so will lead to better performance, reduction in the need for repairs, and a prolonged life span.
To learn more about the problems caused by dirty HVAC filters, contact AC EXPERTS AZ at (480) 386-6980.