Can a Dirty Air Filter Cause AC to Not Cool?

An overheated air conditioner can be a sign that the AC filter is clogged. When the air filter is dirty, the air conditioning unit has difficulty operating efficiently and will work harder when turned on to keep the room cool. This extra pressure on the air conditioner will cause it to produce a lot of heat. As a result, parts will work harder than usual and ultimately break before their time, requiring you to pay for repairs or even replace the unit before its normal 10-15 year lifespan. A clear sign that the AC filter needs to be replaced is when the back of the unit is too hot.

If the filter is heavily soiled, you may feel warm air coming out of the back of the unit. A clogged filter forces the air conditioner to work harder to keep the house cool, leading to more frequent repairs and shortening its lifespan. To reduce this load, it's important to change the AC filter regularly. A clean air filter will not prevent airflow in and out of your unit, but a dirty one will restrict the flow of cold air, causing it to build up inside the air conditioning unit and lower the temperature. If the air filter becomes clogged during the summer cooling season, cold air buildup can cause ice to form on the air conditioning coils or evaporator, reducing its ability to remove heat from the air and eventually causing it to fail. Above all, a dirty air filter will cause your air conditioner to stop working.

If you notice that your air conditioner has stopped working, you should contact your local repair technician for a look at the air filter. Air cleaner maintenance is very important because this device plays an important role in cooling your home - all of the air that cools or heats your home passes through it. Water can start to leak from the HVAC unit for many different reasons, one of which is if the evaporator coil (indoor coil) freezes due to a clogged air filter restricting airflow and lowering the temperature inside the unit. While dirty air filters can prevent an air conditioner from working, there are many ways to keep it well-maintained and running efficiently for longer. If your air conditioner uses a reusable air filter, you don't necessarily have to buy a new one every time it gets dirty. To clean it, safely remove it from the unit and rinse it in a tub or sink with warm water.

If your AC produces warm air instead of cooling cold air, then a dirty filter could be the main problem. If you notice that your AC doesn't cool down as it normally does or blows hot air, check its filter first. Although clogged filters are one of the most common problems affecting an AC's functionality, they are often overlooked and need attention. Regularly replacing your filter is an easy step you can take to extend its life. In fact, according to US Department of Energy estimates, a clogged dirty air filter can cause a 15% increase in energy consumption. Your HVAC system will occasionally turn on and off throughout the day, but a dirty filter can cause those cycles to become more frequent.

If your home is well-sealed and free from pet dander, dust-prone furniture or carpets, and you vacuum every day, your filters will have fewer airborne particles. While an AC should normally turn on when it senses a temperature increase and turn off when the room has cooled sufficiently, short cycles can occur when you have a dirty filter. Damaged or clogged filters will force your AC to consume more energy, costing you more money in monthly utility costs for poorer quality air. You might end up having to replace your AC a year or two early and pay for costly repairs in between.

Elisa Michocki
Elisa Michocki

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