Air filters are designed to protect your HVAC equipment by collecting dust and pollen. In addition to increasing your energy use, dirty filters negatively impact your indoor air quality by letting contaminants enter your HVAC system and infiltrate your home in Fort Pierce, Florida. When filters aren’t replaced as recommended, you may experience the following problems.

Increased Operating Pressure

Clogged filters create excessive air resistance. This makes your air conditioner work harder. Increased operating pressure means that more contaminants are pulled into the return side of the ductwork through cracks. If this happens, foreign particles from your attic or crawlspace enter the airstream, coat your air conditioner’s internal components and exit through the vents, which decreases your air quality.

Microbial Pollutants

Eventually, congested filters become secondary sources of indoor pollution. Dust accumulations support vast microbial colonies, especially in humid climates. Mold, bacteria and dust mites that live in dirty filters may trigger allergies and asthma. You can develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, congestion, and irritation of the eyes.

Even if you don’t have respiratory health concerns, replacing your filters every one to three months is essential for maintaining clean indoor air.

The Path of Least Resistance

As the filter reaches its capacity, air finds a different way to flow into the return ducts. Eventually, the incoming air bypasses the filter and sneaks through the gap around the frame. Any particles that evade the filter will coat the evaporator coils and fins, which reduces the unit’s performance and affects your indoor air quality.

Air Filter Blowouts

Filters that are overdue for replacement may eventually implode. First, increased operating pressure warps the filtration media. Then, once the airflow is further restricted, the filtration media may pull away from the frame. This may permit large amounts of dust to enter your ductwork. Besides impacting your air quality, clogged filters are a leading cause of breakdowns and AC repairs.

If standard filters aren’t doing enough to improve your indoor air quality, contact Grimes Heating & Air Conditioning in Fort Pierce by calling today. You can also learn more about our air conditioning services online.

Originally published in July 2018, updated in May 2020

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