AC Tip: Keep the Filter Fresh

Air-filterQuick — what’s the best way in which to keep your air conditioner in the best working condition possible? If you answered “with routine air conditioning maintenance,” then you are correct! What if we asked you what role you yourself should be playing in the maintenance of your air conditioning system, though? Yes, you should leave the bulk of this to your AC tune-up technician. However, there is one vital step that must be completed much more frequently than once a year during this tune-up.

That step? Replacing the air filter in your air conditioner. If you really want your air conditioner in Maricopa, AZ to function at peak performance and efficiency levels — which we can safely assume is the case — then you are going to need to keep a clean filter in the system. While it may not seem like that major a component, the air filter in your air conditioner can have a very negative impact on your system at large if it is not kept fresh.

The Purpose of the Filter

There is a common misconception among homeowners that the air filter that comes standard with their AC system is there to protect the indoor air quality throughout the house. This is problematic, as those homeowners then may assume that the filter is fine just because they are not suffering serious allergy symptoms or noticing increased dust and dirt throughout the house. While there are definitely air filters designed for this purpose, the standard filter in the AC is not one of them.

This filter is instead there to protect the condition and operational quality of the air conditioner itself. If the filter is too dirty, it is the AC system that you should be concerned with, not air quality. So how can a very dirty filter affect your AC?

  • Short cycling can occur if your air filter is too dirty. A dirty filter restricts airflow over the evaporator coil. As a result, your air conditioner is going to have to work harder than it should have to in order to remove a sufficient amount of heat from the air. That can lead to the system overheating, and it will shut down abruptly to prevent damages. This starting and stopping drives up energy costs and puts unnecessary strain on the system.
  • Reduced efficiency is also going to be an issue. As mentioned above, short cycling can really drive up energy costs. Even if the system is not short cycling, though, the air conditioner is going to be working harder to force air through the filter and to cool your home effectively. It may actually run longer than usual if it is not at the short cycling point yet. Either way, you are going to wind up paying more for less comfort.
  • Air quality can suffer as well, despite the fact that this filter is not really there to protect air quality. If there is enough resistance in the filter itself, the air and the pollutants that it carries may bypass the filter and work its way through the gaps in its frame. That can introduce pollutants directly into the system and into your living space.

Let Goettl Air Conditioning Phoenix handle your AC services. G-O-E-T-T-L it’ll keep you cool but it’s hard to spell.