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4 Ways a Dirty Air Filter Affects Your Home
Why do we tell you to change your filter? The answer might surprise you. Many people assume that a dirty filter is a problem because it contaminates the air—and that’s the reason technicians tell you to clean or replace it once a month. It’s a nice thought, but not completely correct. The air filter is there to do more than prevent allergens from moving back into your airstream. It blocks particles from damaging the inside of your air conditioner by pummeling it or jamming the fan. But when an air filter is dirty, it may do just as much damage. Find out the real reason we tell you to change your air filter once a month; here are 4 ways a dirty filter affects your home.
#1: It Makes You Less Comfortable
Your air filter may seem like only a small piece of your home comfort system, but looks can be deceiving. The filter stands between the intake air and your heating/air conditioning system. So a clogged filter will prevent air from circulating through the vents. In other words, you won’t have enough air to stay warm or cool! When you have hot and cold spots around the home or when the temperature never seems to match the thermostat, a clogged filter may be the culprit. And discomfort is the least of your worries.
#2: Your Air Conditioner Could Leak
Air conditioning systems work by absorbing heat from the air in your home. As refrigerant evaporates in the indoor evaporator coil, it’s able to absorb heat from air blowing over the coil. But when the air filter is clogged, warm air is limited. And this could cause the coil to freeze. As it thaws, water may leak into your home, causing structural damage. A frozen coil is a sure sign of a problem, and it may be due to other issues within the AC system. Still, changing the filter monthly helps to prevent this in the first place.
#3: Your Bills Go Up
Your blower fan has to work a lot harder to try to bring in the right amount of air when a clogged filter blocks airflow. Changing the air filter regularly is one of the easiest ways to lower your monthly utilities.
#4: You Damage the AC/Heating System
The fact of the matter is that your comfort systems were designed to take in a certain amount of air each time they cycle. When airflow suffers, the components of the system have to work a lot harder to do their jobs. That means that you can expect a lot of wear and tear over the season—and your air conditioner or heater may fail when you need it most. Air filters come at a price, of course, but it’s much less than an emergency call to a local technician. Changing filters regularly and scheduling annual preventative services with a local technician is the best way to ensure that your system lasts a long time with fewer problems in between appointments.
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