A dirty air filter can have a significant impact on the performance of your air conditioning system. As dirt and debris accumulate in the filter, it restricts the flow of cold air, causing it to build up inside the air conditioner and lower the temperature. This can lead to ice forming on the coils, which will cause the air conditioner to freeze and stop working. Additionally, a clogged filter will force the air conditioner to work harder, leading to more frequent repairs and a shorter lifespan.
To prevent these issues, it's important to change or clean your air conditioner filter regularly. When the AC filter is dirty, the air conditioning unit will work harder when turned on to keep the room cool. This puts more pressure on the air conditioner, causing it to produce a lot of heat. If you notice that the back of the unit is too hot or warm air is coming out of it, this is a sign that you need to replace your filter.
Water can also start leaking out of the HVAC unit if the evaporator coil (indoor coil) freezes due to a clogged air filter. This restricts airflow and lowers the temperature inside the air conditioning unit, resulting in a frozen coil and water leak. To avoid these problems, check your filter once a month and replace or clean it before it becomes clogged. If you're using a disposable filter, make sure you have purchased a replacement before removing the existing one.
Sliding a wet filter back into the air conditioner can cause icing and other issues, so it's important to dry it before reinserting it. Replacing your filter regularly is an easy way to extend the life of your air conditioner and save money in the long run. If you're still not sure how often to change your filter, contact an HVAC professional for additional tips.