Most homeowners have heard or read about the importance of regular filter replacement to help keep their air conditioning system functional and to make it more capable of providing efficient cooling. But hectic work schedules and the needs of the average family can cause even the most dedicated homeowner to postpone or forget to attend to this important task.
In fact, some homeowners may even be unwilling to believe that failure to change their AC system filter could result in the development of major repair issues. If you are one of these unsuspecting homeowners, the following information can help you better understand how your system works and the components that are most likely to be damaged by clogged AC filters.
HVAC systems use a powerful blower to move cooled air through the ducts and distribute it throughout the home. When the flow of air is obstructed, as it is when the filter is clogged by dust and debris, the blower must work harder and use more energy to move the air sufficiently to meet the desired setting on the thermostat.
The increased workload caused by the action of forcing the air through a clogged filter can result in excessive wear that requires frequent repairs or complete failure and the need to replace the entire blower motor assembly.
AC systems that are operated with clogged filters for too long often begin to cycle on and off too frequently, a problem known in the HVAC industry as short-cycling. When short-cycling occurs, the compressor must stop and start many times more often than it normally would, a problem that can quickly result in excessive wear and eventual component failure.
Mold formation in the ducts
Another potentially expensive repair issue that can arise when the air conditioning system is forced to operate with clogged filters is the formation of mold and mildew throughout the ducts. Without the ability to move air freely throughout the ducts, excessive humidity can quickly form inside the ducts.
Without the benefit of proper filtration, allergens, including mold spores, can be deposited inside the ducts. In this situation, the dirty air and the moist, dark interior of the ducts provide the perfect environment for widespread mold to develop. Ridding the ducts of mold will require professional cleaning by an air conditioning repair service, once the clogged filter has been replaced.
Homeowners who have operated their air conditioning systems without regular filter changes will want to consider having their system inspected by an air conditioning repair service to ensure that worn parts are found and fixed or replaced before additional wear or system failure occurs.