Your AC unit has an air filter to catch particles like dust, grit, and pet hair and prevent them from getting into the components of the unit. You can imagine that a motor or a fan would not work as well if it was caked with a layer of lint. But when that layer builds up on the air filter, it needs to be changed. A dirty air filter can be almost as bad for an air conditioner as no air filter at all, because in order to work, your AC unit needs good airflow.
What can happen to your air conditioner if it doesn’t have enough air flowing through it? Once you read about all the potential problems, you’ll be sure to clean your air filter regularly so you can avoid them.
When the airflow through your air conditioner is diminished, you simply won’t be able to get your house as cool and comfortable. This is for two reasons: one, not enough air will be blowing out of your vents, and two, when there’s not enough air flowing through the unit, it cannot effectively absorb heat from the air. This decrease in your comfort may be the first sign you notice when there’s an airflow problem, but it definitely shouldn’t be your biggest concern. There are worse things going on.
Ice and Water
The refrigerant inside the coils of your AC unit absorbs heat from inside your home, and that refrigerant evaporates into a gas within the coils. As it flows to the outdoor part of the air conditioner, pumped by the compressor, it releases the heat and condenses into a liquid. All this evaporating and condensing causes condensation, when moisture accumulates on the coils. Under normal conditions, that moisture drips into a condensate pan and out a drain. But when there’s not enough warm air passing over the cold evaporator coils, that moisture can freeze, causing a buildup of ice.
The ice itself causes two problems. It further prevents warm air from reaching the coils, continuing to make the problem worse. And if it does melt all at once, for example when you turn your air conditioner off, there can be so much moisture that it overflows your condensate pan and causes water damage.
It’s easy to see how these problems make it harder for the air conditioner to accomplish the task of cooling your home. But it won’t stop trying to get the job done, which means it will continue to use more and more energy. This will cause your utility bills to rise.
Your air conditioner will work harder and harder, trying to draw enough air through the system to allow it to function. All this hard work, coupled with the fact that normal airflow helps to cool down hard-working moving parts, means that overheating components and system strain can cause the unit to fail completely. And when will that happen? When it’s working the hardest, of course, which means exactly when you need it the most: on a particularly hot Texas summer day.
So make sure you change your air filter once a month, and if you need help with that process or any other aspect of AC maintenance in Boerne, TX, reach out to us with your questions or to make an appointment for a tune-up!
Contact D’Spain Sales & Service with any air conditioning concerns.