Think a Dirty Air Filter Doesn’t Impact the HVAC System? Think Again!

You may have heard that you should replace the HVAC air filter regularly. However, many people put off this task because they’re unaware of the effects of a dirty HVAC air filter on the system and the potential consequences regarding home safety. Checking and changing the air filter should be a priority, and here’s why.

  • Dirty air filters reduce airflow. As a filter becomes clogged, airflow is reduced, which causes the fan motor to work harder. This means more energy is used, which will increase your utility bill. Eventually the fan motor can burn out, resulting in overheating and failure of the entire system. Another concern: heat may build up around the heat exchanger in the winter. This can cause the heat exchanger to crack. A cracked heat exchanger needs to be replaced immediately to prevent system failure, fire or the release of carbon monoxide gas into the home.
  • Dirty air filters allow dirt to build up inside the unit. Dirty filters lead to dirty components within the HVAC system. This causes problems such as dirty cooling coils, which leads to freezing on the evaporator coils. Frozen coils block airflow, reducing the system’s ability to maintain indoor climate control. The system will work harder, but with little positive effect and your energy bill will rise. If this continues, the system will fail and require replacement.
  • Dirty air filters can lead to dirty ducts. The excess dirt will end up in your ductwork, and you’ll need to have the ducts cleaned more frequently.  Dirty ducts compromise air quality and some of the dirt can end up back in the HVAC system.

For more information about the effects of a dirty HVAC air filter and other issues relating to home comfort, contact us at Davis Air Conditioning & Heating.

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