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Why Keep a Fresh Filter in Your Air Conditioner

Man holding air filterSeriously? They’re taking a whole blog post to tell me to keep a fresh air filter in my air conditioning system? Yes, seriously. Because it is just that important.

If you’re serious about getting the best performance that your home cooling system has to offer, then you definitely need to keep a fresh air filter in your system. Why are we taking a whole post to explain how important this is?

Because far too few homeowners seem to take it as seriously as they should!

So read on, and remember to let the pros on our team handle any AC services in Atlanta, GA, that you may need.  

What a Standard Air Filter Does

Some homeowners mistakenly believe that the standard air filter in their air conditioners is there to boost indoor air quality throughout their homes. Then, they assume that the fact that their indoor air quality is fine means that their air filter is fine. This isn’t really how it works, though, because this air filter is not really there to boost indoor air quality throughout your home.

Instead, it is there to protect your AC itself. Now, if your filter does get clogged up badly enough, it is possible that air will be forced around its frame, and your air quality can be set back a bit in the process. However, this is not your main concern when it comes to problems caused by a dirty air filter in your AC system.

What Kinds of  Problems Are We Talking About?

Because the filter is there to protect your AC system itself, it makes sense that you’d run into potential operating problems when your air filter is too dirty. For starters, your system is going to be running under excessive stress. This is because an air filter is going to increase airflow resistance more the dirtier that it gets. With that increased strain comes increased risk of operational problems. It also comes at a monetary price.

The harder that your air conditioner has to work in order to cool your home, the more energy it is going to use in the process. And, the more energy that your system uses in that process, the more money it is going to cost you to cool your home. If you want to protect the efficiency with which your system operates, keep that filter fresh!

If your air filter is dirty enough, then it can actually wind up restricting airflow to the point that your coil gets too cold. When that happens, the coil can wind up freezing over, as humidity collected on the coil as condensation freezes. Then, the insulating barrier created by the ice further impedes the heat transfer process. This is a serious problem, can result in real damage to your system if you continue to force it to run. Short cycling will occur, as the AC overheats, and will drive up energy costs even further while increasing the risk of damage.

Keep a Fresh Filter in Your Air Conditioner

Close up of a filterChances are — or hopefully, are — that you know just how important routine air conditioning maintenance is in the effort to keep your system functioning at peak performance levels. One thing that you may have forgotten, though, is just how important it is that you handle one maintenance task on your own. That is changing your air filter regularly. Yes, routine maintenance is something that absolutely must be left to trained professionals. Changing your filter is something that needs to happen more than once a year, though.

Now, you may not think that something as “minor” as changing your air filter is going to have that big of an impact on the overall performance and operational quality of your air conditioner. However,  you’d be very wrong in thinking this. Changing the air filter as needed is absolutely integral in ensuring that your system functions properly. Consider the following, and remember to change your air filter regularly if you want to get the most from your air conditioner in Roswell, GA.

Why Does a Fresh Filter Mean So Much?

It’s not like I’m seeing dust and dirt flying through the air, you may be thinking. How dirty could the filter be? The answer is: very. Yes, a dirty air filter can result in a decline in indoor air quality, but you also have to keep in mind the fact that protecting indoor air quality is not really the intended purpose of this air filter. There are filters designated for this purpose, but the standard filter in your AC is not one of them.

It is not an incredibly efficient air filter, but rather one designed to protect the interior workings of the air conditioner itself. In fact, a very efficient filter could cause the same problem that a very dirty filter can — increased airflow resistance — if it is not compatible with your system. Increased airflow resistance beyond a manageable level is a big problem.

First of all, it can increase your cooling costs as the system has to work harder than it should have to in order to cool your home. Secondly, that added strain can increase the wear and tear on your system, making repair needs more likely and more frequent. Ice can also develop on the evaporator coil if the filter is restricting airflow enough.

This is a major issue because the ice that has formed on a coil that’s gotten too cold is only going to insulate that coil further. In doing so, it exacerbates the problem by further inhibiting the heat absorption process. So, while it may seem “minor” at first glance, keeping your filter fresh can help you to live more comfort while reducing energy costs as well as the risk of running into operational damages to your system.

That new filter is looking like a pretty good — and really quite minor — investment now, isn’t it? Refer to your AC system’s manual to get an idea of how often your filter should be changed. 1-3 months is typical, but a number of factors can influence the situation. You know your home, and checking in on the filter now and then is the best way to decide if replacement or cleaning is necessary.

Contact Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC 7 days a week for a personalized response for your needs. If we don’t have the answer, we will find it for you!