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How can a Clogged Air Filter Affect the Performance of Your Air Conditioner?

small_4020166274A clogged air filter is the cause of some of the most common problems that St. Louis area homeowners experience with their air conditioners. Not only does a clogged filter cause efficiency problems (as we mentioned in our blog earlier this week), but it can also lead to system breakdowns and an unhealthy indoor environment. Today we’re going to talk about why clogged air filters are especially problematic in the summertime and how you can avoid the issues that they create.

Why does your air filter get clogged faster during summer?

Your air filter captures dirt and other airborne particles every time that your air handler is turned on. Since your air conditioner is running much more frequently during the summer, your air filter captures particles at a faster rate and gets clogged quicker.

Air conditioner problems that result from a clogged air filter

  • Overheating. When your air filter is clogged, your air handler must work harder to compensate for the blockage of air flow. Often times, this can cause your blower motor to overheat and lead to system failures.
  • Increased energy consumption. The harder your air handler has to work to push air through a clogged filter, the more energy your air conditioner will consume and the higher your energy bills will be.
  • Unhealthy air. Your air filter captures dirt and other particles that can affect the health of you and your family. If it’s clogged, unfiltered air can bypass your filter and circulate throughout your home.
  • Inadequate amount of cooling. Because a clogged air filter causes airflow issues, your home can experience hot and cold spots and it can be difficult to reach your desired indoor temperature levels.
  • Frozen evaporator coils. Your evaporator coils absorb heat from your home’s return air. If a clogged filter is restricting airflow, however, your evaporator coils might not receive enough heat from your home’s air, which can cause them to freeze over and shut your unit down.

How to avoid the problems associated with a clogged air filter

In order to avoid the problems associated with a clogged air filter, it’s important to check and/or change your filter every month. It might be helpful to mark your calendar or set a reminder in your phone to do this. It’s a simple task that will only take a few minutes. In addition, many thermostats come with a feature that will remind you when it’s time to change your filter.

If you have any questions about a clogged air filter, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Charles air conditioner installation and repair company. We service the St. Louis area, including towns like Clayton, Cottleville and Creve Coeur.

photo credit: Ivy Dawned via photopin cc