The Consequences of Not Changing Your HVAC Filter

Learn about what happens if you don't change your HVAC filter regularly: from reduced life expectancy of your AC unit to increased energy bills.

The Consequences of Not Changing Your HVAC Filter

If you don't change the AC filter, it will start to fail. You will no longer be able to filter the air properly, allowing dust and contaminants to enter the air conditioner. Dust clogs moving parts of an air conditioner, such as motors and fan valves. Airflow is restricted, creating a strain on the system.

Replacing the air filter and having the HVAC system inspected regularly are part of a preventive maintenance routine. Failure to change the air filter can damage other parts of the system and can result in a large repair bill later on. Changing air filters regularly can help preserve the life of your system and make it work more efficiently. The danger of not changing the air filter in the house for a long time is that it will eventually lead to damage to the oven.

This means that the entire system will be destroyed by excess heat. When the filter becomes clogged and air can't move through it, the HVAC system will work harder to push the air out. This causes more energy to be used and components to slow down. It can even cause problems such as coils freezing.

Before you know it, parts are going to need premature repairs, your energy bill will increase, and you won't have as much control over temperatures. Putting a filter that is too small for your HVAC can be harmful because it will allow dirt and dust to enter your unit. As an experienced home inspector, I can tell you that if you don't regularly change the filter, you can reduce the life expectancy of your air conditioner from 6 to 12 years. A clogged filter allows dust and other contaminants to reach ducts, fans, and other parts, and soon causes buildup.

However, once you start to notice that the HVAC doesn't cool the house the way it's supposed to, you may need to replace the filters. Again, the price to fix this problem is higher than simply buying a new air filter every few months. While the primary function of filters is not to increase indoor air quality, when not routinely changed, pollen and dander are more likely to enter your home or business. Filters with higher MERV ratings trap small particles more effectively than filters with lower MERV ratings.

Most manufacturers recommend that basic filters be changed every 30 to 60 days, but there are other circumstances that could affect that program. So instead of waiting to see what happens if you don't change your air filter for a long time, it's best to change it. And when the filter is clogged, that dust clumps into the evaporator coil (or coil A) of your HVAC system, which will greatly reduce its efficiency. If you haven't changed your home's air filters lately, the next step should be to determine which filters you need and replace them as soon as possible.

MERV 17 to MERV 20 filters are commonly used in operating rooms, cleanrooms, and other settings that require absolute cleanliness. If you still have the old models, there are some telltale signs that may warn you that your filters are getting dirty. As air moves through a building's HVAC system, air filters trap and pick up large and small particles, such as dust, allergens and microorganisms.