A Dirty Air Filter Can Make Your System ‘Under-Perform’

June 27, 2014
Ross and Witmer

When was the last time you changed your air filter? If you can’t answer that question, it’s probably well past time you changed it. Your HVAC system’s filtration media help remove dust and other airborne debris from the air that circulates throughout the system and your home, but once it becomes dirty, it can reduce overall performance and cause a wide variety of problems.

Dangerous Consequences

The average HVAC system relies on a proper airflow balance from the return air duct to the various vents around your home in order to operate properly. Under normal circumstances, the air filtration media serve as a barrier against dust and debris accumulating within the unit itself. As more dirt and dust accumulates on the filter, less air is able to make it past the filter.

A dirty, clogged filter restricts airflow and causes the blower motor fan to work harder to keep up. This lack of airflow also can cause your HVAC system’s evaporator coil to freeze over, since there’s no air flowing over the coil to help it absorb heat and keep the refrigerant at the right temperature. A clogged filter also can cause the blower fan motor to work harder to create airflow and use more energy in the process.

Not only does a dirty air filter degrade overall HVAC performance, but it can also shorten your system’s lifespan, and create premature and otherwise unnecessary repairs.

Keep it Clean

Regular filter changes are the best way to prevent your system from underperforming. So how often should you change your filter? The following should give you a good idea of when to do just that:

  • Every 90 days for the average home with zero pets
  • Every 60 days for a home with one pet
  • Every 30 days if you have allergies or more than one pet

Since 1945, Ross & Witmer has helped countless Charlotte area residents with their home comfort needs. Contact us to learn more about the consequences of a dirty air filter, as well as ways to keep your HVAC system healthy.

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