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Five Signs You Should Replace Your Air Filter

As a homeowner, you want your air conditioner to work efficiently and effectively whenever you flip the switch to turn it on. However, one small component may be holding you back in many different ways: your air filter. This small and inexpensive device allows your heater and air conditioner to breathe, and your system depends on a free flow of clean air to maintain peak efficiency and normal operation. However, because this filter is often out of sight and out of mind, it’s easy to forget that you need to change your filter periodically in order to keep your system running well. If you don’t, your system will start to exhibit some weird behavior, potentially resulting in a full and complete breakdown. Here are some signs that you should change your air filter soon.

No Air Flow

Your air filter is supposed to remove particles from the air in order to prevent them from getting trapped your system. Not all of these particles are microscopic—pet hair, leaves, dirt, and other debris can also get sucked into your air conditioning system through a return vent, which then makes them get stuck in the filter. Everything that gets trapped will remain in the filter until it’s changed, and after a while, this material buildup can be substantial enough to the point where it blocks the airflow. This means your air conditioner will be unable to suck enough air in to effectively cool your home, making it seem weak.

Short Cycling

A clogged air filter acts like an insulator, not allowing warm or cold air to escape your heater or air conditioner. This can create an effect known as “short cycling,” where the amount of conditioned air in your system increases or decreases the internal temperature, either causing it to shut off early thinking it has reached its goal, or to do so preemptively to stop itself from overheating and becoming permanently damaged. If your system doesn’t seem to stay on for more than a few minutes, you could be experiencing this short cycling

Compromised Efficiency

Does your electric bill seem abnormally high, even though you are running your air conditioner like normal? This is a sign that your air filter may be clogged. Similar to low or cut-off air flow, an inefficient system will use a lot of electricity to seemingly cool nothing, or force itself to run longer. Changing your air filter is a quick and cheap way to restore your monthly utility statement back to normal.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

Your air filter not only protects your system by preventing particles from getting in and wreaking havoc but it also prevents those particles from being recirculated back into your home. Over time, if the air filter clogs, it won’t be able to function properly, and some of these particulates may begin to slip through. This can lead to worse air quality in your home, and trigger a lot of effects such as sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and more. If you change your filter, these things should subside.

Frozen Coils

Arguably the worst result of a clogged air filter is your air conditioning coil freezing over. Even though it’s 100 degrees or more outside, your coil can freeze over and your system to seize up completely if you’re not careful. As stated previously, a dirty air filter can trap cool air in your system, which then causes it to get cooler and cooler and cooler until it eventually freezes the condensation on your condenser and evaporator coils. This frost can eventually lead to a total shutdown of your system, leaving you frustrated and in need of a major repair.

Want to learn more about your HVAC system or schedule a full maintenance service to help keep your system running smoothly and efficiently? Call Phoenix Air Conditioning, LLC today by dialing (888) 660-4337 and book your appointment!