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Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Blog

Never Leave a Dirty Filter in Your AC

man-holding-air-filterOnce the heat of the summer season is upon us, you are going to want to flip on your central air conditioning system or heat pump and cool the air in your home effectively, reliably, and efficiently. This is not going to be possible if you fail to schedule the routine air conditioning maintenance service that your system needs in order to excel in its operation, though. Enrolling in our maintenance program makes it easy to ensure that your air conditioner is prepared for the work that lies ahead, year after year.

However, there is one aspect of air conditioning maintenance that really cannot wait a full year between being completed. That is the act of changing your air conditioner’s air filter. These filters typically require changing every 1-3 months, and cannot sit in the system until our technicians come out for yearly maintenance. While the bulk of your AC maintenance in Des Moines, IA must be left to trained professionals, this is one simple task that you can handle on your own to great benefit your comfort and your air conditioner itself. 

Okay, the Filter’s Dirty: So What?

We understand that a dirty air filter really doesn’t sound like the biggest problem in the world. It is not as though your air conditioner is going to break down just because you skipped a few changes in the cycle, right? Well, that may be true. However, your system is still suffering, will continue to suffer in the long run, and your budget and your comfort are being put on the chopping block. Just because changing a filter is simple and cheap does not mean that it is not incredibly important.

When an air filter is dirty, your indoor air quality may begin to slip. Now, this relatively inefficient air filer is not really there to improve the quality of the air through your house. Instead, it is primarily intended to ensure that your system itself is protected from the problems that dust, dirt, and other pollutants can lead to. The problem is that when this filter is very clogged up, it may be easier for the air passing through the system, as well as the pollutants in that air, to bypass the filter through small gaps.

Plus, the increased airflow resistance can lead to problems with short cycling, and even the icing over of your evaporator coil. Short cycling is when your system starts up, runs only briefly, and cycles back down. This can happen if enough airflow resistance is occurring to cause the system to overheat. You may also see ice develop as decreased airflow allows the evaporator coil to get too cold. The ice just further insulates the coil, exacerbating the problem.  This puts a lot of unnecessary strain on the system, and can result in serious damage over time.

Routine maintenance is incredibly important, but it is not everything. Changing an air filter is pretty simple, and most filters will have arrows or colored indicators to ensure that you are installing it in the right direction. If you have any questions, just give us a call.

Schaal Heating and Cooling can handle all of your air conditioning service needs.

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