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FAQ: Can a Clogged Air Filter Hurt Your Cooling System?

air filter being changed in hvac systemA clogged air filter certainly isn’t going to help your cooling system. And this is a question we get pretty often—since many people assume that the only purpose of an air filter is to improve your indoor air quality, they wonder if a clogged air filter really does have an impact on the performance of their cooling system.

The air filter of your Lawrenceville, GA air conditioning system is actually there to protect the inside components of that system, by blocking particles from damaging these components by pummeling them or jamming the fan. But when your air filter is too dirty, it can create problems.

So first, we want to recommend that you change your air filter every 1-3 months, according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Secondly, we want to share some tidbits below to help you understand the effect a dirty air filter has on your air conditioner.

It Can Cause Your AC System to Leak

Air conditioners function by absorbing heat from the air within your home and expelling in outdoors. As refrigerant evaporates in an indoor coil called the evaporator coil, it’s able to absorb heat from air blowing over that coil. However, if the air filter is too dirty, warm air is limited and could cause the coil to freeze.

Eventually this frozen coil will begin to thaw, and can cause water to leak into your home, causing structural damage to your home, on top of creating problems with the functionality of your air conditioner. Changing the filter regularly can help you avoid this problem all together.

You May See Your Bills Spike

When a clogged and dirty air filter blocks airflow, the blower fan in your system has to work a lot harder to try and bring in the right amount of air. Again, changing the air filter when needed is one of the easiest ways to lower your monthly bills.

It Can Cause Other Components to Work Too Hard

All air conditioning systems are designed to take in a specific amount of air each time they cycle. When your airflow suffers though, the components of the system have to work a lot harder to do their jobs. This means you can expect a lot of wear and tear throughout the warmer seasons—and your air conditioner might suffer when you need it the most.

Air filters come at a price of course, especially if you decide to go with high quality filters. But the cost of an air filter is far less than the cost of an emergency repair that might have been prevented.

Your Comfort Will Suffer

So this last problem isn’t necessarily a threat to your air conditioner per say, but a clogged filter will prevent air from circulating through the vents and you won’t have enough air to stay cool. Ultimately, both your air conditioner and your level of home comfort will suffer due to something as seemingly benign as a dirty filter.

For more great cooling tips and to schedule reliable air conditioning services, contact Wall Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. today!

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