Earlier this this week we wrote about how important it is to rely on professionals to take care of regular annual maintenance on a central air conditioning system. However, there are a few simple maintenance tasks that you must see to yourself during the rest of the summer. The most important is to regularly change (or clean) the air conditioner’s filter. Depending on the filter and how often you run the AC, the filter will need to be swapped for a fresh one ever one to three months.
What happens if you don’t change the filter and it becomes clogged with dust, lint, and other debris? A number of unfortunate things:
Reduced energy efficiency
In the desert communities of Southern California, air conditioning bills during the summer often run high. You want to avoid paying any more than you absolutely have to, which is why you must keep an eye on the filter: clogging is the fastest way to create a sharp rise in your electrical bills. The AC will need to strain harder to draw air through a congested filter, and the system will experience a rapid drop in its energy efficiency.
The point of the air filter is to prevent debris coming through the return vents from entering the air conditioner’s cabinets and harming components. When the filter becomes clogged, it will start to allow dust through—the filter might even start to tear open. You could wind up needing to have motors and other parts repaired because the filter was no longer able to do its job.
Ice on the evaporator coil
The evaporator coil in the interior cabinet of an air conditioner contains cold refrigerant that absorbs heat from the air to cool it down. When the flow of warm air into the cabinet is blocked because of a clogged filter, the refrigerant will remain too cold, with the result of ice forming along the coil’s surface. The more ice that appears, the less effective the air conditioner will be at cooling down the house.
Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning serves Cathedral City, CA. Give our office a call for exceptional customer service and sign up for our regular maintenance program.