Do you know how to replace the air filter in your air conditioner? If not, you’d better learn or have a professional take care of it for you. Neglecting this part of your air conditioner can have major consequences for the system. Consequences you’re not going to like. Read on to find out what role the air filter plays in your air conditioning system, and why it’s so important that you need to have it maintained.
The Air Filter
The air filter is a small fiber mesh, which sits in your air return duct of your air conditioning system. All air that flows through the air conditioner passes through the air filter first. The filter is designed to capture any dirt and other debris that may make it into the system and harm it. It is quite good at this job, but it does have one weakness: it cannot get rid of the debris that it collects. So, eventually the air filter will need to be replaced before it becomes clogged. If the air filter is not replaced, and becomes clogged, it will start to cause problems for your air conditioner.
The air conditioner cools your home by evaporating refrigerant in a part called the evaporator coil. The coil evaporates refrigerant to absorb thermal energy from the air, then sends it outside to be released. The temperature around the coil is always dropping, but the flow of air from the ducts prevents the temperature from dropping too low. If the air filter is clogged, though, the air flow to the system will more or less cease. This will cause the temperature of the coil to drop until it freezes over. The ice will prevent the system from cooling your home properly, and will eventually cause a full breakdown.