Whether you use a basic filter at each AC intake vent or whether you have a more high-tech one that removes as many contaminants as possible, it still requires regular replacing or it could not only stop filtering out contaminants but also cause your AC system to struggle. In fact, if you neglect your filters for too long, they can actually cause damage that will require expensive repairs. Here are five ways your clogged filter can cause problems with your unit's functioning and integrity.
1. Reducing airflow
The clogged filter hampers the progress of air through the filter, which means that not only is your air not getting filtered as well, but your AC unit isn't getting what it needs to function efficiently.
2. Increasing energy use
The less airflow the AC unit gets, the harder it has to work to get the air it needs for basic functioning, meaning that not only is your home not getting cooled as well, but the AC unit is taking up more energy to do it. This can entirely neutralize the advantages of having an energy-efficient unit or make an old, non-eco-friendly unit even less eco-friendly.
3. Hastening wear and tear
AC units are machines that can run down after years of normal use, eventually needing to have some parts replaced. You can speed up this cycle significantly by forcing your AC unit to work in less-than-ideal conditions, such as by refusing to change a clogged filter.
4. Frozen coil
If the repairs and replacements you'll have to pay for because of increased wear and tear sound like no big deal, maybe you've never had a frozen condenser coil. This can happen whenever your AC unit is being forced to work harder than it's designed to, especially if it's simultaneously getting less air than it needs. So if your unit is surrounded by weeds and working with a clogged filter, watch out. It just may freeze over and then you'll have to turn it off and wait for it to thaw.
5. Dead compressor
If your AC unit does freeze up as a direct result of a clogged filter and you don't catch it and thaw it in time, the frozen coil can lead to very expensive complications. The ice may run up the line and get into the compressor, where it will resist compressing until the compressor fails. This is bad because compressor replacement is one of the most expensive AC repairs.
These five problems can occur when you neglect to change your AC filter. Don't worry, they probably won't all happen at once, and they won't happen if you're only a little late replacing the filter. They do show, though, that you can't just ignore the filter indefinitely and expect to get away with it. For more tips, contact a company like Tropic Air Conditioning INC.