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4 Painful Problems Caused By NOT Changing Your Air Filter

September 23, 2016

Clean filter vs. dirty filter (right)

If you spent a day in our office, you’d hear us repeatedly ask customers with AC problems this question:

“Have you checked your air filter?”

If your air filter is dirty and you’re experiencing AC problems, the majority of the time it always comes back to that clogged filter. Which is unfortunate because changing a dirty filter is a super easy (and FREE) DIY task.

But, unfortunately, most homeowners don’t realize just how damaging a dirty air filter can be.

Read on to learn more about the painful ways a dirty air filter can ruin your day...

Note: If we’ve got your attention already and you’re wondering if you should change your filter now, check out our blog, “How Often Should I Change My AC Filter? It Depends On This Factor”.

1. Your AC unit will eventually break down

A clogged air filter makes it harder for your unit to work properly. The amount of strain caused by a dirty filter means that your systems’ motors are working harder than they were designed to work.

Eventually, this can cause your unit to break down earlier than it should. And when that happens, you’ll need to be prepared to pay a high price of around $4,500 to $8,800 for a new AC unit and installation.

Related: The Cost to Replace Your Central Air Conditioner in Florida

2. Decreased comfort

Your clogged air filter basically suffocates your system, resulting in less cool air and less comfort for you and your family.

Think of it this way: having a dirty air filter is like trying to breathe with your hand clamped over your mouth and nose. It’s not long before you’re panting and struggling for air, right?

Well, it works the same way with your AC system when you have a dirty filter. That layer of dirt and dust restricts the amount of air that your AC can “breathe in”, which means there’s less cold air to cool your home down. And what’s worse is that, in some cases, restricted airflow over the AC’s cold refrigerant coils causes them to freeze up and restrict airflow even further.

3. Unreasonably high energy bills

A dirty air filter makes your entire unit strain harder than it normally does to cool your home. Which naturally means that it’s consuming more electricity than it would with a clean air filter.

This results in utility bills that are much higher than normal. In fact, according to the Department of Energy, a clogged filter can cause a 15% increase in energy usage.

4. Poor indoor air quality

A clogged air filter will allow all the dust and debris it should be catching into your air ducts. Over time, the dirt can accumulate in your ducts, which means a good amount is most likely being pushed directly into your home and directly into the air you breathe.

This can cause chronic allergies and can be dangerous for those with asthma and other breathing problems.

Want to prevent these painful problems?

Simple, just check the filter once a month and change it if it’s dirty. However, keep in mind that changing the filter is just one part of maintaining your air conditioner.

Your AC needs professional maintenance at least once a year to keep the warranty valid. (Though, since you live in Florida, the air conditioner really needs biannual maintenance).

Talk to a Florida AC Pro

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