If you’ve ever talked to an HVAC pro about your air filter, you’ve probably heard the advice to change it out every month or so. Or if you have a higher quality filter, perhaps every 3 months.
And you might have assumed the reason for this is to improve your indoor air quality. That’s a safe assumption to make—after all, air filtration systems and air purifiers are designed for the purpose of improving indoor air quality.
But the filter that comes standard in your HVAC system is actually not there for that reason. Rather, it is intended to protect the innermost parts of your air conditioner and furnace from dust, dirt, and other debris that can cause friction on its interior components and affect the performance of the system.
Therefore, to answer the question we asked in the title, yes, changing your air filter does impact your air conditioner. Want to learn more? Read on!
A Clogged Air Filter Will Make You Less Comfortable
Your air filter may seem like a small component, and it is—but it has a big job. This air filter sits between the intake air and your HVAC system, so a clogged up filter prevents air from circulating through the vents.
In other words, you won’t have enough air making its way into your home to keep you cool (or warm, if we’re talking about your furnace). When you have uneven temperatures like this, or if the temperature doesn’t seem to match your thermostat, a clogged air filter can absolutely be the culprit. And that’s not all it can do.
Your AC System Might Leak
Air conditioners operate by absorbing heat from the air within your home. As refrigerant evaporates in the indoor evaporator coil, it absorbs heat from the air blowing over the coil. However, if the air filter is too clogged, warm air is limited and it can cause the coil to freeze.
When this ice thaws out, the resulting water can leak into your home, causing significant property damage. A frozen coil is definitely the sign of a problem, and can be due to other issues within the air conditioner, not just a clogged air filter.
Therefore, if you see ice on your system, be sure to call a pro. Trying to remove or thaw the ice on your own can end up doing more harm than good.
Watch Those Energy Bills
The blower fan of your HVAC system has to work harder to bring in the right amount of air when a dirty air filter is blocking airflow. Changing the filter on a regular basis is one of the easiest ways to lower your monthly cooling bills (or at least, maintain them).
Don’t Let a Dirty Air Filter Damage Your Air Conditioner!
Your air conditioner was designed to take in a certain amount of air every time it cycles. When the airflow suffers, the components of your cooling system have to work harder to do their jobs. This means the system overall will accumulate wear and tear much faster than it otherwise would have, shortening the system’s lifespan or at least causing a need for costly repairs.