AC Issues That Pinpoint Dirty or Faulty Air Filter

ac filter

The AC air filter cleans the air before the AC blows the clean air into your space. If the filter fails, the air conditioning unit also loses efficiency.

Over time, the air filter may fail due to clogs from debris accumulation or damage from prolonged use. When the filter fails, the issue may manifest in a few ways, as follows.

Low Airflow

If you notice a sudden decrease in airflow in your space, a dirty air filter is the most likely cause. The reason is that when the air filter becomes clogged with debris, the blockage restricts airflow.

Consequently, the AC unit must work harder to push air through the filter. The loss of airflow makes your space feel stuffy and may also stress the AC unit, which can lead to a breakdown.

Frozen Evaporator Coils

The evaporator coils absorb heat from the air in your space. But the coils require a constant flow of air to function correctly. When the airflow is restricted, as when a dirty air filter blocks airflow, the coils may freeze.

Frozen AC coils compromise the AC unit’s ability to cool your space. And if you don’t rectify the issue, the cooling unit may fail, which results in more expensive repairs.

However, other issues such as refrigerant leaks and blocked drain lines may also cause frozen coils. Therefore, don’t automatically conclude that a dirty air filter is the reason for frozen coils. Instead, seek the help of a professional AC technician to diagnose and fix the problem.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

A sudden spike in your asthma or allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, watery eyes, and itchy throat, may suggest that your AC air filter no longer traps allergens and irritants effectively.

Additionally, the filter may start to release these trapped particles back into your space, exacerbating your symptoms. Even after cleaning, you may also notice dust on your furniture and other surfaces.

Higher Energy Bills

If your energy bills increase gradually over time, a clogged air filter may be to blame. Remember, when an air filter is blocked, the AC unit has to work harder to circulate air. This added strain on the system uses more energy and raises your utility bills.

Again, other AC problems such as leaks, faulty parts, and outdated units may also cause your energy bills to go up. So, have a professional check your system to confirm if a dirty air filter is the cause of your cooling system’s inefficiency.

System Short-Cycling

When an AC unit short-cycles, the system turns on and off more frequently than usual. This issue wastes energy and puts unnecessary stress on the system, leading to a breakdown. In addition, a dirty air filter is often the cause of short cycling as it restricts airflow and makes the AC unit overwork.

Other causes of AC short-cycling include incorrect thermostat settings, incorrect unit sizing, and closed vents. So, be sure to have a professional check your system to determine the cause of the problem.

Frequent System Breakdown

If you have to contact an AC repair technician more frequently than normal, the air filter may be the primary cause. A dirty air filter makes other AC components susceptible to wear and tear.

For instance, the blower motor may overheat and burn out due to the restricted airflow. In the same way, the compressor may also overwork and fail. Replacing these parts is expensive, so clean and change the air filter regularly to avoid such problems.

Steele Brothers Heating Inc is your go-to HVAC contractor. We offer a wide range of AC services, so if you suspect your air filter is the problem, contact us for timely diagnosis and repairs to have your system up and running in no time.

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