Why Changing Air Filters Will Boost A/C Performance–No Matter What Type Of System You Have
There’s probably no more important part of air conditioners than the air filter. A filter protects the air handler from airborne particles in your home and has an impact on the life of outdoor compressor, as well. Dirt is a contributing factor to air conditioning failure and one that’s completely avoidable with routine filter maintenance. Even window and portable air conditioners perform inadequately over if the filters get too dirty.
Dust sets up air conditioners for these problems:
- When too much dust collects on air filters, the airflow in air handlers slows. The compressors have to run longer, adding to the energy consumption.
- Slow airflow taxes the fan’s motor, making it run longer than it should. Besides increasing your electric bill, the motor will wear out faster.
- Dust can collect on the evaporator coil indoors, which insulates it. Since the airflow is slower and the dust adds insulation, the evaporator coil can freeze over. This makes the compressor run continuously. Once the frost melts, it may cause your water pan in the air handler to overflow, creating water damage indoors.
If you tend to forget about the air filters, make a mental note or mark a calendar to check them monthly when you get your electric bill or associate the filters with something else you receive or do monthly.
Besides changing the filters routinely, improving the kind you use protects your equipment better. Air filters carry MERV ratings, short for minimum efficiency reporting value. The scale runs from 1 to 16. Better filters capture more particulates, but before replacing the filter for your system, you’ll have to make sure that the MERV rating isn’t too high for your system. Check the owner’s manual for your system or ask an HVAC technician what the maximum value is that you can use. You’ll also have to clean or change these filters as often or more frequently, since they pick up more particles.
If you’d like to learn more about air filters and your air conditioner’s performance, contact Symbiont Service Corp. We have provided HVAC services for southwestern Florida since 1983.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.