How do Clogged Filters Affect Airflow and AC Operation?

 In Air Conditioner, Furnace, Heating and Cooling

Did you know the primary source of problems with heating and cooling systems is dirt in the air filter? Your air conditioner uses more energy to cool down your home when dust and debris in the air filter hamper airflow. But why does such an ordinary and comparatively cheap machine part affect equipment life, energy consumption, and air quality so profoundly?

What is the Function of the Air Filter?
Your AC system’s air filter is essential but often overlooked. Its purpose is to clean the air that flows through your cooling system. Filtration typically occurs when the used air is brought back to the AC equipment to be conditioned and redistributed. The filter strains the air, eradicating particulates and other impurities.

What are the Effects of a Clogged Air Filter?
When the filter is clogged the airflow is reduced, and the fan must work extra hard to draw the correct quantity of air over the coil. A clogged air filter can cause:
1. Your AC unit to ice over. When it melts, the water from the thawing ice can cause further damage.
2. Your AC unit to quit cooling. You may have hot and cold spots in different parts of your home, and it can be hard to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature level.
3. Your AC unit to overheat. Your fan must work harder to make up for the airflow blockage when your filter is clogged. This extra effort can cause the motor on your fan to burn and cause system failure.
4. A severe mechanical problem with your AC unit’s compressor technically described as liquid slugging.

All of these are reasons why it’s essential to arrange annual professional maintenance for your AC system. However, you can eliminate these problems with a DIY cleaning and air filter replacement. An easy way to know if you need to replace your filter is to observe whether or not you can shine a light through it. You should also check to make sure the air is flowing through all the vents in your home or business.

You should replace your air filter once a month. It might be helpful to set a reminder on your phone or mark your calendar. As we have seen, this simple task, which takes only a few minutes, can save you a lot of time, energy, and money.

Clogs Generate Increased Energy Consumption
Around fifty percent of the energy cost to operate a commercial building comes from the HVAC system, and almost thirty percent of this is due to air filtration. When your filter is clogged, the fan needs to run at higher speeds to push the air through it. Replacing your clogged filter with a state of the art filter designed to decrease energy usage will make a vast difference financially.

Air conditioning repair costs hundreds of dollars, and if the damage is irreparable, you’ll have to shell out thousands for a new system. Cleaning and periodically replacing your air filter should be a no-brainer if you want the best air quality at the lowest price.

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