A Dirty Air Filter Can Lead to System Malfunction – Here’s Why

A Dirty Air Filter Can Lead to System Malfunction – Here’s Why

28 Aug 2014

Running your cooling equipment with a dirty air filter tops the list of practices that can cost you in terms of comfort, energy bills and system durability. A filter that’s coated in dust has ramifications throughout your system. The filter may seem like an inconsequential part of the system, but in reality, it’s one of the most important components. 

dirty air filters

Dirty filters can cause these problems:

  • Higher energy costs. As more dust collects on the filter, the airflow slows through the air handler. Lower airflow passing over the evaporator coil that circulates the cold refrigerant means it will take longer for the refrigerant to absorb the heat, forcing it to run longer. Less air pressure going through the ductwork increases the time it takes to cool your home as well. 
  • Risk of part failure. Air flowing slowly over the evaporator coil can cause it to freeze, particularly in our humid environment. Because the refrigerant stays colder as a result of not absorbing as much heat, the water vapor in the air may have time to freeze on the coil. If the frost continues to build and the system doesn’t stop, the refrigerant flowing back to the compressor will be a liquid instead of a gas. This can damage the compressor, and since it’s the A/C’s most expensive part, could result in loss of cooling until it’s replaced (at a high cost). 
  • Dirty ductwork. A dirty air filter introduces dust into the ductwork that may have to be professionally cleaned down the road. Depending on the kind of air filter you use, the filter should be able to capture many airborne particulates, including pollen, mold spores, pet dander, dust mite waste and household dust. When the filter can’t hold any more particulates, they blow through your home’s air and may eventually settle in the ducts. Anyone with allergies or asthma may experience worsening symptoms.

The pros at Bodine-Scott Air Conditioning Co. can help remedy problems caused by a dirty air filter by thoroughly cleaning and adjusting your cooling system and helping you select the best filter for your equipment. We’ve provided superior HVAC services for Corpus Christi area homeowners since 1961. 

Image Provided by Shutterstock.com

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