Regular maintenance of any air conditioning system is an absolute necessity. If your air conditioner is not well-maintained, then there is no way in which you can hope for your AC to function at peak performance and efficiency levels. That being said, you also need to keep in mind that your annual air conditioning maintenance really needs to be completed by skilled, trained professionals—mostly, anyway. We say mostly because there actually are a few vital maintenance tasks that you can handle on your own.
The most important of these is simply changing the air filter. And trust us, it really is simple to do. Some homeowners love being involved in the upkeep of their homes and systems. Others are always fearful that they’re going to do more harm than good. Fortunately, changing your air filter, which you should be doing every 1-3 months, is so simple that literally anyone can do it. And if you think that this means it’s not that important, think again!
Dirty Filters Reduce Energy Efficiency
When you have to force air through a very dirty air filter, it is going to cost you more than it should to run your air conditioning system. This is because the system is going to have to work harder than it should in order to force air through that filter. That means that it uses more energy, and you’ll see this reflected in your higher energy costs.
A dirty filter also makes it more difficult for the system to draw heat out of the air, due to this reduced airflow, and that means that the evaporator coil can get too cold. So cold, in fact, that condensation collected on the coil can actually freeze up, creating an insulating barrier on your coil that actually winds up making the system work even harder still!
Dirty Air Filters Drag Down Comfort Levels
Overpaying to cool your home is bad enough, but overpaying for a weaker cooling performance is even worse. If your filter is very dirty, then your home just is not going to be as comfortable as it should. This is partly due to the fact, as mentioned above, that the system won’t be able to draw heat out of the air as effectively.
However, the system can also start to overheat if it is working harder than it should have to, and that leads to short cycling. The system will shut down sooner than it should in an effort of self-preservation. It then has to restart over and over, increasing costs while also reducing its effectiveness, as ACs are really meant to run in longer, complete cooling cycles.
Dirty Filters Damage Systems
Maybe not directly, but the symptoms of dirty air filters will definitely increase the risk of damage to your air conditioning system. That short cycling and overheating puts a lot of strain on the system that it otherwise would not be working under. All of that strain will take a toll over time, and it is very likely that you’ll be scheduling AC repairs with increased frequency.