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A Dirty AC Filter Can Be a Major Problem

When there is a heating or cooling problem, one of the first items an HVAC service person looks for during diagnosis, is a dirty AC filter. That is because a dirty filter reduces air flow and air flow shortfalls are the cause of a number of common AC and furnace problems. As the AC works, the filter in turn works at removing particles from the air that blows through. As a result, the filter should be checked regularly and changed as needed or recommended — particularly during times of heavy system use. It is an easy DIY procedure which your HVAC contractor can demonstrate if you don’t know how.

How a Dirty Filter Affects You

The following are just some of the HVAC problems that may result from a dirty filter:

  • Lower efficiency – When air flow is obstructed, the system works harder and runs longer to meet thermostat settings. This increases energy consumption and utility bills.
  • Diminished comfort level – Because a dirty filter can impede air flow to the rooms in your home, the result will often be lack of sufficient cool or warm air to those spaces.
  • Coil icing – When air flow over the A/C evaporator coil is insufficient, the evaporator coil drops below the freezing point and ice forms. Coil ice further obstructs air flow, reduces efficiency and performance, and may result in a system shutdown.
  • Component damage – The blower fan pushing air against a dirty or obstructed filter works harder and runs hotter. This can lead to advanced wear and tear and early replacement of this expensive part.
  • System shutdown – In heating mode, obstructed airflow due to a dirty air filter may cause the heat exchanger to overheat. To prevent fire, a high limit switch will automatically shut down the furnace. In most cases, a service call from an HVAC technician is required to reset the switch and restart the furnace.
  • Poor air quality – An obstructed filter may cause air bypass as air flow diverts around the filter. Unfiltered and contaminated air may then circulate throughout your home.

A major consequence of dirty filters is the effect on health, particularly for persons with respiratory problems. Since filters remove dust, pollen, and other solid particulates such as mold and bacteria from the air. Not only will a dirty filter fail to do its job of removing these particles, but it can also actually add harmful substances to the air you breathe.

Turn to the Experts

If you are concerned about the air quality in your home, check out our line of effective air quality solutions. You may also give the pros at J&J Mechanical, Inc. a call at (855) 800-1341 in Kinston, or (888) 716-0052 in Greenville, for more information about our services.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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