Air ConditioningA Dirty Air Filter Can Cause Major AC Issues

You already know we’re big fans of routine HVAC maintenance around here. We also encourage homeowners to hire trained professionals to tune up their systems annually. But many people don’t realize how complex the process is. In reality, this type of maintenance is a job that only experienced technicians can do correctly. There’s good news though! There’s still plenty you can do for your system on your own.

There are several simple maintenance tasks that any homeowner can handle. One is simply keeping your outdoor air conditioning unit clean and free of debris. For example, removing fallen branches from on top of the unit or removing grass clippings that are stuck to the fins. The other task you can do on your own is the most important, which is changing your air filter. With a fresh air filter in place, you can avoid a lot of problems, including issues that could result in the need for AC repairs in Seattle, Bellevue, Renton and more!

What kind of problems can a dirty air filter cause?

A dirty air filter can cause these common air conditioner issues:

1) Short Cycling
2) Frozen Coils
3) Poor Indoor Air Quality

And it’s not safe to assume that simply replacing a dirty air filter will solve all of your AC problems. Just like with any other AC issue, there are many potential causes. But if you do notice problems, your first step should be to check your filter. Checking your filter first will help you avoid scheduling repair service when it’s not necessary. Keep reading to find out how these common AC issues are caused by a dirty air filter!

Short Cycling

hand using remote to adjust air conditioner

We’ve talked about this problem before, but it’s an issue worth revisiting. Your air conditioner should be running in full, even cycles. Is your air conditioner running in constant short bursts? Then you have a problem on your hands. Short cycling can be caused by a dirty air filter. The dirty filter causes airflow resistance, which can cause overheating. It makes your system less efficient and increases your cooling costs. If the filter doesn’t look dirty, it’s time to give us a call.

Frozen Coils

HVAC technician replacing air filter

Your air conditioner doesn’t actually cool your home by generating cool air. Instead, it removes heat from the air and redistributes that cooler air throughout your home. This is thanks to evaporation of refrigerant in the evaporator coil. But if your air filter is really dirty, your system will struggle to remove heat from the air due to reduced airflow. The coil can even get cold enough to freeze any condensation that has collected on it. That creates a barrier that will only make the problem worse.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

close up of dirty air filter

Many people believe the main function of the standard air filter in your air conditioning system is to maintain indoor air quality. Instead, this filter is actually there to protect your HVAC system from pollutants. However, if your air filter becomes too clogged, air can pass between the filter and its mountings, allowing pollutants into the system. Air always follows the path of least resistance!

Looking for a Seattle HVAC contractor that can help you? Find out how your Seattle home can have more effective and cost-efficient cooling. Call 425.533.9058 or fill out our online contact form for more information.


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