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What Happens if My A/C Filter is Dirty?

small_14078798166We here at Jerry Kelly are constantly reminding our customers about the importance of regularly changing their air filter. It’s so important, in fact, that we set up a free email list to help them remember to change their filter every month! Since we bring it up so often, you might be wondering, “What happens if my A/C filter is dirty?” Today we’re going to answer that question and talk about the benefits of keeping a clean filter in your air conditioner!

How does my A/C filter get dirty?

Although you might not be able to see it, the air in your home contains a certain amount of dirt and other airborne contaminants. When your air conditioner pulls in air from your living spaces in order to be cooled, it brings those contaminants along with it.

Your A/C filter is there to trap those airborne contaminants before they reach your air conditioner. The longer you have a filter installed, the more contaminants it will trap. Over time, so much dirt will build up on your filter that it will begin to clog it up. As you’ll see below, this can have a number of negative consequences.

What happens if my A/C is dirty?

  • Dirt builds up on your air conditioner. When your A/C filter is dirty, the unfiltered air from your home will bypass the filter and dirt will build up on your system’s components. This is not good for any part of your air conditioner, but it’s especially bad for your evaporator coils. When dirt builds up on your evaporator coils, it makes it harder to remove heat from your home’s air. This can make your home uncomfortable in addition to increasing your system’s energy consumption.
  • Your system consumes more energy. Having dirty evaporator coils isn’t the only effect of a dirty A/C filter that will increase your system’s energy consumption. Another big issue is your air handler. When your filter is clogged with dirt, your air handler will have a much harder time blowing air through the filter. As a result, your air handler will have to work harder and longer to maintain proper airflow, which will noticeably increase your monthly energy bills.
  • Your home’s air will not be cleaned. Along with protecting your air conditioner, your air filter is supposed to remove contaminants from the air you breathe. When dirty air is bypassing your filter, those contaminants will keep circulating throughout your home and your air won’t be as healthy.

If you have any questions about what happens if your A/C filter is dirty, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis air conditioning contractor. We service the St. Louis area, including towns like Cottleville, Creve Coeur and Dardenne Prairie, MO.

photo credit: NMEnergy$martAcademy via photopin cc