With our minds occupied with work deadlines, bills to pay, kids to take care of, and other everyday worries, it becomes easy to forget a task as simple as changing an AC filter. Well, the truth is, no matter how busy you are, your home’s air filter has to be at the top of your priorities.
A neglected filter can make life unbearable at home, take money out of your pocket, and even bring your entire AC unit crumbling down. Let’s find out exactly what happens when you don’t replace your air filter.
First, How Does a Filter Work?
Made of pleated paper or fibrous material, an AC air filter is installed in the return air of your unit and acts as a barrier that traps particles and impurities. It prevents contaminants such as dust, pollen, mold, pet hair, and even fumes from circulating indoors.
Here are five harmful effects of not changing your air filter regularly:
Unreasonably High Energy Bills
One of the early signs of an ignored air filter is a swelling energy bill. Simply put, a clogged AC filter reduces the airflow to your HVAC system and causes it to work harder. This means the unit needs to draw more energy to run, costing you more money. A clean AC filter can reduce your energy consumption by up to 15%.
Decreased Comfort
Another consequence of a dirty air filter is reduced comfort levels. The dirt buildup in the filter means refreshing cool air won’t pass through it, making your AC struggle to regulate temperatures. So, remember to replace your air filter before your home’s comfort levels begin to drop. In case the problem persists, work with a licensed HVAC technician to investigate the root of the problem.
Poor Indoor Air Quality
If you are suddenly suffering more allergy attacks when you spend time indoors, your air filter might be behind your woes. When it’s clogged, dirt, dust, and other pollutants accumulate in your ductwork and can easily leak into the air you breathe. Again, when air isn’t moving as it should be, those harmful particles that the filter should trap will float around your home, contaminating your indoor air.
Frequent HVAC Failures
Changing your air filter frequently is part of a preventative maintenance routine. If you ignore this step, you’re exposing the entire AC unit to damages. First, a dirty filter may cause the evaporator coils to freeze, restricting airflow. This can lead to a total system failure and a high repair bill. Another problem is short cycling, where the AC turns off and on repeatedly, causing undue strain on your unit and posing a fire hazard.
Reduced Life Expectancy
When a filthy air filter overworks your HVAC unit, it causes wear and tear on different components and ultimately degrades the entire system. The standard HVAC system is expected to last between 15 and 20 years, but constantly neglecting your filters can shave 5-10 years off its lifespan. Imagine a $40 filter costing you a premature AC replacement that hovers around $4,000 to $13,000?
Partner with a Reputable HVAC Expert
As we’ve seen above, there is a lot that can go wrong if you don’t change your air conditioner filter. So make sure you replace the filter at least once every three months. If you aren’t sure of what type of filter to use and how to change one, you can always consult Veteran Air Conditioning.
We are trustworthy, reliable, and experienced HVAC specialists operating in Sarasota and Bradenton, FL. Whether you need some expert HVAC advice or to schedule a tune-up, feel free to reach out, and we will help you improve your indoor air quality!

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