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Don’t Let a Dirty Air Filter Wreak Havoc on Your HVAC System


One of the most important components of the HVAC system, yet often neglected, is the air filter. If you want the best performance from your cooling and heating systems, read on to see how the quality and maintenance of HVAC air filters affects system performance, efficiency and home.

HVAC Systems: All About Airflow

HVAC systems must have free airflow across the heat exchanger and through the blower in order to provide efficient home cooling and heating, and to avoid malfunctions. An A/C and heat pump, for example, extract heat energy from airflow, which is how the home is cooled. If there isn’t enough air volume across components, the refrigerant inside the evaporator coil (heat exchanger) freezes the moisture in the air that is present. Soon you’ve got an evaporator encased in ice, excessive strain on the system, and poor home cooling.

The furnace needs ample airflow, too, in order to transfer heat energy to the home. If airflow is restricted by a dirty air filter, the heat exchanger becomes exceedingly hot, which triggers the limit switch (a built-in safety feature), and the furnace shuts down.

Comfort issues of dirty HVAC air filters are felt and noticed almost immediately, but other negative effects and havoc created by restricted airflow may not be noticed until a system failure occurs, or until you open your energy bill. Following are all common, yet preventable, negative effects of dirty filters:

  • The blower must work much harder, which substantially increases electricity consumption, to force airflow through the ducts.
  • Over time, extra workload and debris accumulation on the blower motor can make it seize up.
  • Frozen A/C and heat pump coils strain system components.
  • Debris and contaminants collect on system components. Mold and mildew may begin to grow, and the walls of air ducts can become caked with debris.
  • Indoor air quality and comfort suffer from a lack of airflow through the living spaces.

Save yourself the headache of unnecessary HVAC repairs, home discomforts and high energy bills by checking your air filter monthly. For more information about HVAC air filters for your Raleigh area home, please contact Air Experts today.

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