What Happens When You Don't Change Your Furnace's Air Filter

October 07, 2015

One of the most basic issues that we hear about at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning in Raleigh is dusty air filters. They might seem like a very insignificant piece of the whole home comfort puzzle, but the role they play in helping us control comfort is a lot larger than most homeowners realize. Regardless if it is cooling season or heating season, having a filthy air filter can cause a variety of problems for your heating and AC system.

So what exactly happens when you neglect to swap out your air filter? Here are a just a few of the side effects you might encounter:

  • Reduced airflow. This is easily the greatest problem you’ll note when your home’s air filter is severely clogged. The longer the air filter goes without being swapped out, the more dirt, dust and other particles build up. Of course, this prevents air from passing through the filter as it should, meaning your system is working a lot harder to give you the same amount of air.
  • Frozen coil. If your system is working harder due to a clogged air filter, you also run the risk of having the cooling coil freeze inside of the system, because it’s operating overtime to give you cool air.
  • Total loss of cooling or heating. This is also a possibility if your air filter goes unattended for months and months on end. In essence, you will have worked your system so hard that something breaks or wears out and needs to be replaced or serviced.
  • Short cycling. Short cycling means the heating and cooling system turns on and off excessively. When your system short cycles, it could overheat or break down from the added work, which could end up causing damage to your system.

In addition to these, you can also expect:

  • A diminished equipment lifecycle
  • Reduced energy efficiency
  • Lower air quality
  • Increase in dust and debris
  • Lack of comfort

If you’re not sure when you last changed your air filter, it may be a good time to do so in order to avoid any likely damage that could come with a filthy air filter. If you don’t know where your home’s air filter is located or you simply have a question about the various air filters available, give Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning a call at or schedule an appointment online.

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