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What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Air Filter

What Happens if You Don’t Change Your Air Filter

Your household’s “To-Do List” never seems to get any shorter, does it? Still, you manage to get it done because that’s what a good homeowner does. Well, we hate to be a burden, but we want to tell you a few reasons why changing your air filters belongs at the top of that never-ending list of household chores.

We understand, really. You probably don’t love changing your air filter. However, it’s a simple household task that can prevent a lot of expensive and inconvenient consequences. Some of them are only mildly serious, but others can cost you a lot of money, and even negatively impact your family’s health. We’re not trying to scare you, we just want to make sure you change your filter!

Let’s look at some of the most common problems caused by a dirty or clogged air filter…

Frozen Air Conditioner Coils

It’s a little hard to tell when an AC unit freezes over. Unfortunately, the effects of a frozen air conditioner can ruin your AC’s compressor. Here are some signs that your coils may have iced up.

  • Sudden, negative change in your AC’s performance (less airflow, no change in temperature)
  • Excess condensation and drainage
  • A system that runs continuously
  • Buildup of ice on your outdoor refrigerant line
  • Condensation on the condensate drain, indoor air-handler

Turn your system off immediately if you notice any of these signs.

Short Cycling

A dirty air filter will restrict your furnace’s airflow. Normally, your thermostat regulates your AC and furnace in cycles. If your heating or cooling systems only run for a short time, it’s known as short cycling. Short cycles can drastically decrease your home’s energy efficiency which can raise costs. Here are some tips on saving more money on your energy bill in Las Vegas. While dirty air filters are a common cause, short cycling can also be a sign of a more serious problem.


Even if a dirty air filter isn’t causing any serious problems to your air conditioner or furnace, chances are, it’s also not doing them any favors. Over time, these inefficiencies can harm your system. You’ll likely also notice air-related inefficiency in your monthly heating or cooling bills–cleaning your filters can likely reduce your energy consumption by 5, 10, or even 20%.

Reduced Air Quality

When your home’s airflow is obstructed, dirt and debris get carried into your evaporator coild. This can damage the coil and impair it’s ability to absorb heat. What’s worse, it’s a huge problem if you’re affected by indoor and outdoor allergies.

Be sure to do your research when you choose an air filter–buying an improper filter can restrict airflow nearly as much as dirt and debris.

Changing Your Air Filter

Replacing your air filters is a crucial element of home maintenance. Your filter is most likely located along the length of your return duct. Air filters are also often located in ceilings, furnaces, and walls.

All of the following factors can affect how often you should change your home’s air filters:

  • The brand and model of air filter
  • Where your filter is located in the home. Filters near ground level tend to get dirtier faster than ceiling mounted filters.
  • How many pets live in your house
  • How many people live in the home
  • Airborne pollutants near the home (i.e. living near a highway, construction site, or manufacturing plant)

If factors like these are impacting your home’s air quality, you should be changing your filters more frequently–at least bi-monthly, but ideally every month during the peak seasons. It takes some money and effort, but it’s worth it when you know that you can breathe easily (and safely).

Key Takeaways

Changing your air filter is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency. It’s also of paramount importance because it will prolong the life of your air conditioner and furnace; after all, who has money to make major home repairs every few years?

We’ve examined some of the common problems caused by clogged, dirty, and old air filters. By now, you’re well aware of the following facts:

  • Dirty or clogged air filters can cause serious problems for your system, as well as your home’s air quality
  • Changing your air filter regularly can make a huge difference in your home’s energy efficiency
  • You should change your air filter regularly (at least every few months)
  • Change your filter even more frequently if you use it constantly, or if you have pets

Although regularly changing your filters is important, sometimes air conditioners and furnaces break. When that happens, you’ll need the help of an experienced professional. If there’s a problem with your home’s air system, you can’t afford to delay. You need air right now, reach out to us for emergency AC repair at (702) 362-6161