Exploring The Importance Of Air Conditioner Maintenance

Hello, my name is Darby Aldrich. I would like to talk to you about the importance of maintaining your air conditioning system. When I moved to a hot climate, I did not realize how vital having a running air conditioner was for living comfortably. When the unit just stopped working one day, the temperature inside the house rivaled the piping hot weather outdoors. We had to go to the community center to keep the kids from feeling sick. While we were gone, we had a local HVAC contractor fix the unit. She let us know that some simple maintenance tasks would prevent that situation in the future. I will use this site to closely explore those tasks in great detail. I hope you can use the information to keep your air conditioner running like new. Thanks.

How Can A Dirty Air Filter Affect Your Furnace?


Your air filter may be one of the simplest components on your furnace, but it has the greatest impact on its performance and longevity. It's little wonder that manufacturers and technicians alike recommend changing your air filter on a regular basis. Failure to do just that could bring about a number of completely avoidable problems.

The following goes in-depth about a couple of major problems that could happen thanks to a dirty air filter, along with some preventative pointers you can use to keep your furnace in great shape.

A Dirty Air Filter Equals Poor Airflow

Air filters are designed to capture a wide range of airborne particles that would otherwise make their way into the furnace itself. However, it's a job that no single air filter can keep up forever. So what happens when a dirty air filter is left up to its own devices?

The answer is something that you'll eventually feel - or at least remark on its absence. Your furnace's blower fan is tasked with pulling air through the return air vents and, once heated via the furnace, pushing that air through the rest of the ductwork. Of course, that return air has to pass through the air filter.

Once your air filter becomes completely clogged with dust and debris, it becomes much harder for the blower fan to draw in the proper amount of air. The fan has to work harder just to keep up, adding greater wear and tear to the fan motor and other related components. Without good airflow, the furnace may burn its fuel less efficiently or even short-cycle, in some cases.

Dirty Air Filters Can Cause Water Leaks

Did you know that a dirty air filter can also lead to a water leak? This is a unique problem that's commonly seen on residential HVAC systems where the air conditioning system sits on top of the furnace. These systems also share a single return air vent and, consequently, share their air filter.

When the air filter becomes clogged, what little airflow that manages to squeeze past the filter also brings dust and dirt along with it. This, combined with an overall lack of air flow, can cause the air conditioner's evaporator coil to freeze over during operation.

Now here's where the water leak part of this problem comes into focus: if there's large volumes of ice or if the condensate drain happens to be clogged, the melted ice can easily overflow the pan and drip all over the furnace portion of the HVAC system. From there, this water can make its way into the furnace itself, causing vulnerable components within to corrode and rust. Such water leaks can even make it as far as the air filter itself, drenching it and making it vulnerable to mold and mildew growth.

Prevention Takes Precedence

The simplest and most effective way to prevent these problems from happening is to simply change your furnace air filter regularly. Most experts recommend a fresh air filter every month, unless otherwise noted by the furnace manufacturer.

Another thing to look out for is the air filter's minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), which roughly indicates the filter's pore size and its ability to trap various airborne pollutants. You want to make sure the filter you purchase is at the recommended MERV value for your furnace. A filter whose pores are too small may boast a high MERV rating, but air will have a harder time passing through the media.

Changing your air filter regularly and making sure your furnace has the right air filter are key tactics towards preventing unnecessary problems with your furnace installation.


2 April 2015