Hi everybody! I know you’ve probably got plenty on your mind right now, but this is the time of year when I have to bring up an important topic: changing your AC’s air filter.
I know it sounds odd to compare an air conditioning system to a pet, but this is one case where it makes sense. Pets take care of you in a special way: companionship. And you do something special for them in return: take care of their health. That means food, taking them on walks, water, taking them on walks, petting, taking them on walks, and regular trips to the vet. (Yes, I like going on walks. No, I’m not sorry to point that out!)
Your air conditioner takes care of you in a special way, and you need to take care of its “health” in return. No, put away the leash—you’re not taking your AC for a walk. You’re just going to change its air filter.
“What air filter, Olive?”
I know you might read the word filter and immediately think of an air filtration system designed to help with healthier air. We install these systems, and they’re great if you have issues with too many pollutants in your household air. But the filter I’m talking about is the basic one that’s a standard part of an HVAC system. Its job is to stay in place and stop the dust, dirt, and lint that comes through the return air ducts from entering the HVAC cabinet.
This filter needs to be replaced at least once a season, and sometimes more often if you have a low-strength filter. Your furnace probably uses this same filter, so it’s important to stay on top of these regular changes. Otherwise, the filter will become seriously clogged. And then things get kinda bad.
“Wait, how bad?”
I could list a few dozen problems a clogged air filter can create. So many different troubles can arise from something that seems so simple. Here are the most common and immediate problems:
- First, the clogged filter restricts airflow into the AC. The blower fan is the component that draws air through the return air ducts so it can then move through the rest of the system. When the filter is clogged, the blower fan must work harder—and that means it will use up more power than it should. You can expect steeper cooling costs with a clogged filter.
- Second, when the airflow into the AC is cut down, that means less air is cooled as it passes over the evaporator coil and less cool air reaches the rest of the house. Not only will you have a lower volume of air getting to the rooms, the air won’t be as cool.
- Third, the evaporator coil may freeze. The less warm air moves over the coil, the colder the refrigerant in the coil remains, and this can cause coil freeze. That’s not good! If you do run into coil freeze, please call us for help with that—don’t try to scrape off the ice yourself.
We have the HVAC service in Knoxville, TN you need when there’s cooling trouble. But right now, go see if you need to change that air filter! Everybody wins when you have a clean AC filter.