How a Dirty Air Filter Can Affect Your AC

Learn how dirty air filters can affect your AC performance & energy costs by reducing airflow & forcing heating/cooling systems to work harder.

How a Dirty Air Filter Can Affect Your AC

When it comes to air conditioning, a dirty filter can have a huge impact on the performance of your unit. As dust and debris accumulate in the filter, it restricts the flow of cold air, causing it to build up inside the air conditioner and lower the temperature. This can lead to poor cold air flow, ice formation on the coils, and an overheated air conditioner. In addition, a clogged filter forces the air conditioner to work harder to keep the house cool, leading to more frequent repairs and a shorter life for the unit.

Not only does a dirty filter reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner, but it can also increase your energy costs. Dust and debris in the filter slow down airflow, forcing your heating or cooling system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. This wastes energy and increases your utility bills. According to U.

S. Energy Information Administration, heating and air conditioning account for nearly half of energy costs in the U. S., and a clogged filter causes those systems to use 15 percent more energy. Certain types of filters need to be replaced less frequently.

Media air filters, for example, have a large capacity and only need to be replaced once a year. Refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for maintenance recommendations. If you're looking for ways to save even more money on energy costs, check out Entergy's commercial and residential energy efficiency programs, which offer everything from free climate control to rebates on energy-efficient appliances. It's important to understand that a dirty air filter will not only affect your AC's performance but also your indoor air quality. Dust and dirt can accumulate in the system, leading to respiratory problems or even mold in the ducts.

To prevent this from happening, you should change your air filter every 1-3 months. If you notice hot or cold spots throughout your home when your HVAC system is working, or if your thermostat says one temperature but you think it's wrong, it could be due to a clogged air filter. If this is not the problem, an experienced HVAC service technician should investigate and perform any necessary maintenance. If you have a disposable filter, make sure you have purchased your replacement before taking out the existing one. If you have a reusable filter, remove it from the unit, rinse it with water and allow it to air dry completely before reattaching.

By changing your air filter regularly, you can reduce the load on your AC unit and keep it running at peak efficiency. This will help maintain good indoor air quality while also saving you money on energy costs.