You depend on your home’s air conditioner to keep your home comfortable when summer temperatures rise. And for a service that is so crucial to your comfort and even the safety of your home, your AC units ask for very little in return. As with any mechanical device, there will be a maintenance call each year, and even an occasional repair required to keep your home cool. And of course, you will need to replace the air filters on a monthly basis.
Unfortunately, many homeowners forget about that last part. They are diligent about scheduling an annual checkup with the pros from Gordon AC & Plumbing. But they are not as dedicated when it comes to replacing their AC air filters regularly. And that one mistake can significantly decrease the life expectancy of this very critical system.
What An AC Air Filter Does
Most homeowners are very misinformed about the job of an AC air filter. They think that this filter is just there to improve the air quality inside their home. And when they don’t see dust floating in the air or have trouble breathing, they feel that the filter must still be in good condition. However, these air filters are not there to increase the quality of the air that you are breathing.
Instead, the air filter is there to protect the inner workings of your AC unit. It prevents the buildup of dust and dirt on the sensitive components that the air conditioner depends on to keep your home cool and comfortable for the hotter months of the year. As with any piece of machinery, when it operates in a clean environment, there is less wear and tear, which means a longer life expectancy. When you forget to change the air filter monthly, you can expect to start having some serious and expensive issues with your air conditioner.
Problems Related To A Dirty Air Filter
By design, an air filter is supposed to trap dust and dirt particles before they can enter your AC system. And by doing its job well, the filter becomes covered in dust and other foreign particles, which is fine to a point. But when the majority of the surface is caked with dirt, the airflow to your AC is restricted. And that can lead to many problems.
The first issue attributed to reduced airflow is the operating efficiency of the unit. It needs to work harder to achieve the same level of cooling that you are used to. And that added workload means a higher energy consumption. Think about how much effort you use breathing. It seems effortless. But when you are wearing a mask, it takes much more effort to inhale. This is precisely what happens to your AC unit when the air filter is covered in dust.
The next issue attributed to reduced airflow involves the coil. With less air flowing, the coil gets too cold and can freeze up. As the ice forms on the coil, it works as insulation and further impeded the cooling process. That means your AC is now working even harder without cooling your house. And because the temperature is not dropping, the thermostat keeps your AC running almost constantly to try and reach the shut off temperature.
You might even notice what is called short-cycling. The AC shuts off but only for a very short time. Then it runs again in an effort to drop the temperature in your house to meet your pre-set shut off. Not only does starting and stopping use a tremendous amount of energy, but it is the segment of an air conditioner’s function that places the most stress and wear on all of the system’s components. In short, restricting airflow to your AC unit causes your home to be less comfortable while also inflicting exponential wear and tear on the entire system.
Replacing the air filters in your AC each month is a pretty simple task to ensure that you enjoy a cool and comfortable home each day of the summer. And it is a great way to protect the significant investment you have made in your comfort and your home. If you have any questions about replacing your AC filters or the function of your air conditioner, please call (318) 202-9144 to speak to a Gordon AC & Plumbing professional. We offer 24/7 emergency service and are always available to take your call and assist you with all of your AC needs.