A dirty air filter can have a significant impact on the performance of your air conditioner (AC). When the filter is clogged, it restricts the flow of cold air, causing it to build up inside the unit and reducing its internal temperature. Over time, this buildup of cold air can lead to ice forming on the coils. An overheated AC is often a sign that the air filter is dirty.
When the filter is clogged, the AC has to work harder to keep the room cool. This puts extra pressure on the unit and causes it to produce more heat. You may even feel hot air coming out of the back of the unit if the filter is very dirty. The extra strain on the AC can lead to more frequent repairs and a shorter lifespan for the unit.
To reduce the load on your AC, you should change the air filter regularly. If the filter is very dirty, it can affect the refrigerant cycle and cause excess liquid to reach the compressor, which is one of the most important and expensive components of an AC system. Replacing or repairing a compressor can be costly, so it's important to keep your filter clean. If you notice that surfaces closest to the vents are dusty while other areas are cleaner, this is a sign that you need to replace your filter.
If you leave a clogged filter for too long, it can cause an entire system failure. The AC has to work harder to push air through a clogged filter, which can lead to parts working longer than usual and breaking ahead of time. Filters are usually made of polyester and act as a protective barrier for an AC system. If your HVAC system uses a disposable filter, make sure you replace it with one that is specifically designed for your system.
If your AC isn't cooling down as it should or is blowing hot air, check your air filter first. Dirt and dust accumulated in an air filter will restrict air flow and cause heat to build up in the heat exchanger. If you're delaying replacing your filter because of cost, it could end up being more expensive in the long run. A dirty filter also increases energy consumption by up to 15%, according to the U.
S. Department of Energy. Regularly replacing or cleaning your air filter before it becomes too dirty is one of the best ways to keep your AC in top condition. If your central AC isn't working as it should be, a dirty air filter may be to blame.