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clogged air filter

7 Problems That Occur When You Don’t Change Your AC’s Air Filter

“Change your air filter regularly” is one of the most common pieces of HVAC maintenance advice that you’ll hear from technicians. But why is this? How can something as simple as changing an air filter be so important? The truth is that failing to change your air filter on a regular basis can lead a number of problems with your HVAC system, which we’ll discuss below.

In this blog post, we’ll share:

  • 7 problems that can occur from failing to change an air filter frequently enough

  • Helpful tips for keeping up with air filter maintenance

After reading this, trust us, you’ll make sure you never forget to change your air filter again.

1. Your air filter will become clogged with dust and other particles.

Your air filter prevents a number of particles in the air from entering your HVAC system. Some of these pollutants include dust, dander, hair, and fumes from cooking. If not changed on a regular basis, your air filter can become clogged with these particles, which leads to the issues below.

2. It will take longer to make your home your desired temperature.

If your air filter is dirty and clogged, it will not allow an adequate amount of airflow through your system. Inadequate airflow makes your HVAC system less efficient, which means that it will have to work harder and run longer in order to make your home as cool or as warm as you want.

3. Your energy bills will rise.

If your HVAC system has become less efficient, that means that the system needs more energy than it needed before in order to do its job (cool or warm your home). That translates into higher energy costs, and those higher bills are definitely noticeable during the hottest and coldest times of the year.

4. Your indoor air quality will decrease.

The air filter keeps dust and other debris from circulating through your HVAC system. If the air filter fails to do this, not only will the debris pass through and start clogging your HVAC system, but it will also end up circulating through your home along with the air that your system circulates.

When an air filter is overly clogged and dirty, debris ends up getting through, entering your HVAC system, and circulating through your home. This can aggravate allergies, asthma, and other chronic respiratory conditions.

5. Your HVAC system’s components will not last as long.

Lowered efficiency comes with more downsides than simply higher energy bills. Because your system is working harder to perform, that means that more wear-and-tear is being put on the system’s components, which can cause them to fail prematurely.

6. The evaporator coils might freeze.

This problem is especially prevalent during summer when air conditioners are used the most. The coils in your evaporator will freeze if there is not enough airflow moving through the coils to dissipate the condensation that forms during the cooling process. The condensation that does not dissipate can freeze, which then inhibits your condenser’s ability to remove heat from the air to cool it. This can lead to your air conditioner breaking down.

7. Your HVAC system might fail altogether.

As mentioned above, frozen evaporator coils resulting from a clogged air filter can cause your air conditioner to break down--but that’s not all. A clogged air filter can also cause your air blower to break down, which in turn causes your whole HVAC system to break down. The repair usually costs thousands of dollars.

Tips for Keeping Up with Air Filter Maintenance

Now that we’ve covered the importance of changing your air filter on a regular basis, here are some tips to help you do that.

  • Most air filters should be changed every 30 to 90 days. Pay close attention to the manufacturer’s directions on the package to see what they advise.

  • Each time you change your air filter, immediately set reminders on your phone to check it (or change it, if necessary) after 30 days, 45 days, 60 days, and 90 days.

  • The more people living under your roof, the more frequently you will probably have to change your air filter, so make sure to check on it often.

  • If you have a cat or dog, it is generally advisable to change your air filter at least every 60 days.

  • If you have more than one cat or dog or if you have chronic allergies or asthma, it is generally advisable to change your air filter every 20 to 45 days.

At Iceberg Heating & Cooling, your heating, air conditioning, and other home comfort systems are always our top priority. Need a repair? Contact us online or give us a call at (734) 375-1119.