You’ve heard that your air conditioner needs to be maintained at least once a year. But what happens when you ignore that advice and neglect maintenance on your heating and air conditioning system?
In addition to increased likelihood of costly breakdowns, your air conditioner may show signs of:
- Short-Cycling: Your air conditioner is designed to cycle on and off occasionally throughout the day, but a dirty air filter can cause those cycles to become more frequent than needed. Frequent cycling causes noise pollution, that means wasted energy and uncomfortable temperature changes.
- Freezing Up: A good, clean air filter allows air to flow freely out of your unit. A dirty air filter restricts the flow of cold air, causing it to build up inside the air conditioner and lower the internal temperature. Given enough time, that buildup of cold air can eventually cause ice to form on the coils.
- Uneven Cooling: Restricted airflow isn’t good for your air conditioner’s cooling power. Even if it’s not enough to cause freezing, you’ll notice uneven cooling with hot and cold spots, which means lower comfort levels at a higher cost.
- Allergen Buildup: If anyone in your home suffers from asthma or respiratory allergies, it’s especially important to keep the air filters clean. A dirty filter can cause allergens to build up in your duct system, and they’ll linger there for months. Whenever you have a forced-air system running, those allergens will be released into the air you breathe. You might even end up with a mold problem in the ducts.
- General Wear and Tear: Air conditioners last longer if they’re maintained properly. A good air filter helps to stop dust and dirt from building up on all the unit’s internal components; a bad filter will cause additional wear and tear that can lead to serious maintenance issues down the road. You may end up having to replace your air conditioner a year or two sooner, and you’ll likely be paying for expensive air conditioning repairs in the meantime.
- Reduced System Efficiency: If you’re holding off on getting a replacement filter because of the cost, know that you’re only hurting your finances in the long run. An A/C unit with a dirty filter will use much more power to cool your home, and you’ll end up paying more on your utility bills.