I mean, I think that my air filter is fine. It’s not like the indoor air quality in my home is giving me sneezing fits or anything. If this is at all in line with your thinking regarding the standard air filter in your AC system, then there is a serious misunderstanding of precisely what this filter’s intended operation is. The filter that you should be changing every 1-3 months is not there to improve indoor air quality throughout your home.
It is there instead to help protect the overall condition of your HVAC system and to ensure that you are getting the most efficient, reliable, and effective performance possible from your air conditioner. Think that this is an exaggeration? Think again! In today’s post, we are going to help you to understand just what you risk by failing to change your air filter regularly. Your air conditioner is depending upon you, and the clean filters that you provide!
You May Notice Some Decline in Indoor Air Quality
Okay, so indoor air quality may fall off a little bit due to a very dirty air filter in your AC, but it is not the indicator that you should be looking for. If you have a designated air filtration system and you notice a decline in IAQ, then that is a red flag. With your standard air filter, however, things should never get to that point.
How can a filter that is not really designed to boost indoor air quality going to contribute to a decline in that indoor air quality? Well, if it is clogged enough, the filter can create so much airflow resistance that air, and the pollutants that it contains, will be forced around the filter. While this filter is not designed to remove the various pollutants that can really affect indoor air quality, the larger pollutants that it does trap can work their way around it in the right conditions, building up on sensitive components in the AC and, yes, potentially going airborne.
Your System Will Lose Efficiency
One problem that is pretty much guaranteed to manifest if you allow your air filter to get too dirty is a drop in energy efficiency. Simply put, your air conditioner is going to have to work harder and harder the dirtier that air filter gets. It’s harder to blow through a straw if there is some sort of obstruction in its passage, right?
Your air conditioner has enough work to do without having to contend with the increased airflow resistance that a dirty air filter generates. Fortunately, the fix is simple. Spend a few bucks on a fresh filter as needed, and enjoy the efficiency that you deserve!
Short Cycling Will Occur
Short cycling is a problem that many homeowners are far too tempted to write off as a minor nuisance. The reality of the situation is much more serious. If your air conditioner is short cycling, then it is going to waste energy. It will shut off and on frequently, which requires much more electricity than running in regular cycles does.
Worse, the system will suffer a lot more wear and tear than it would in its regular operation. That really increases the risk of damages to the system. By reducing airflow resistance, changing your air filter helps to reduce the risk of overheating that can lead to this problem with your system.