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Elliott-McElwee, Inc. Blog

Your AC’s Filter Plays a Big Role


Every part of your air conditioning system plays its own unique role. While some roles, like the one your refrigerant plays in the heat transfer process, are mandatory, other parts are still important in the overall scheme of things. It is important to know this because the air filter that is used for your air conditioner is often underestimated in how important it really is.

The air filter isn’t meant to help keep dust out of your house. Instead, its key purpose is to help keep dust and debris out of the inside of your HVAC system. This is important because, if your HVAC didn’t have that filter, all of that debris would get into your system to cause a variety of issues.

Dirt can hurt! This is why you should never underestimate the importance of your system’s air filter.

Air Filters Vs. An Air Filtration System

We want to clear up this misconception first.

Air filtration systems are installed in the ducts on your home where they capture dirt and debris to keep it out of the interior of your house. These systems are meant to improve your indoor air quality.

Air filters on the other hand are made to protect your AC system. They sit within the return air duct where they capture dirt and other debris to keep it all out of the internal components of your system. While it doesn’t hurt your indoor air quality, this filter is more focused on protecting your cooling system rather than your respiratory system.

The Impact of a Dirty Filter

So what happens if you neglect to change your air filter on a regular basis and it becomes overly clogged with dirt? Obviously, the first consequence that you have a nearly useless filter. Beyond that, however, things are going to get a lot dicier.

  • Reduced airflow: One of the most immediate impacts you will notice from a dirty air filter is that it slows down the flow of air into and out of your air conditioner. This is going to reduce the amount of cool air that your system can make
  • Reduced heat absorption: Your AC needs a steady flow of air into it to absorb heat. If a dirty filter hinders airflow, it will reduce the amount of heat that your system can pull out of the home.
  • Ice buildup: Ice collecting inside of your air conditioner indicates that your system is not able to absorb enough heat while it is running. This can cause it to supercool the air immediately around the evaporator coil leading to the buildup of ice which will damage your system in the long run.
  • Increased energy bills: A clogged air filter can also cause your AC to work harder which will, of course, end up increasing your energy bills. It’s not very enjoyable to have to pay more for less comfort!
  • Extra strain on the AC: Last but not least the reduced airflow into your air conditioner is going to start to strain the system. This can end up decreasing its lifespan and even strain it to the point of an early breakdown.

Change your filter every one to three months to protect your AC from these issues. Rest assured, we can help with your filter changes when we provide maintenance or repairs for your system.

Elliott-McElwee, Inc. is proud to be your go-to resource for air conditioning service in Somers Point, NJ. Your comfort is our business. Contact us today.

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