What Happens When You Don't Change Your AC Filter?

There are a lot of things you wouldn’t stop doing. Neglecting to check the mail or pay bills, or even clean the house, would cause quite a few problems. Not changing the AC filter can as well, but many people do not incorporate this into their routine. Cousin's Air is South Florida’s premier AC professionals. We do not recommend putting off changing an air conditioning filter for several reasons.

Contrary to popular belief, the primary function of the filter is not to purify air. It can trap some dust. However, a standard part is not fine enough to capture tiny particulates such as pollen and allergens. Fine mesh high energy particulate air (HEPA) filters can catch these and mold spores. Whether you have a standard air filter or higher grade one, not changing it can cause the following problems in your South Florida home:

  • Disrupted air flow: Not changing air conditioning filter components doesn’t necessarily add more dust and contaminants to the air, but these can accumulate in the blower fans and air ducts. This can restrict the amount of space available for air to pass through. Air conditioner performance will decrease and eventually the unit may fail altogether.
  • Lack of cooling: Particles and dirt on the cooling coils can affect performance. Frost buildup on coils, fans, and other parts prevents the system from providing the expected level of cooling. Simple AC maintenance can avoid this, but not tending to the issue will eventually warrant major AC repair.
  • Higher bills: Contamination from a dirty air filter will cause your air conditioning system to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. This extra work will increase power demand. This ultimately leads to higher energy bills because it draws more power.
  • AC damage: Filter damage isn’t the only possibility if you don’t change it, because dust and other contaminants can strain other parts, potentially shortening the operating life of an HVAC system by five to as much as ten years. Yes, changing an air filter regularly can increase its life by that long, and expensive part replacements are also more likely from a clogged air filter.
  • Moisture and mold: Even high-quality HEPA filters need to be replaced. If not, moisture can accumulate in the duct system. Moisture is where mold thrives. If the ducts become too moist, mold infestations can result. Mold can spread very quickly throughout a building along with pollen and germs, potentially making residents, employees, and other occupants very sick.

AC filter problems are therefore not just about getting cool air. You can avoid problems by scheduling maintenance regularly. Cousin's Air recommends filter changes on a monthly basis. If several months have gone by since the last filter change, contact us to inspect your air conditioning system and filtration, so performance and indoor air quality can be improved.