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

October 07, 2015

One of the most common issues that we encounter at Parker Pearce Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning in Gaithersburg is filthy air filters. They might seem like a very tiny piece of the whole home comfort puzzle, but the role they play in helping us maintain comfort is a lot greater than most homeowners recognize. Regardless if it is cooling season or heating season, having a dirty air filter can cause a number of concerns for your heating and AC system.

So what exactly happens when you don’t remember to switch out your air filter? Here are a just a couple of the side effects you may encounter:

  • Reduced airflow. This is easily the largest issue you’ll recognize when your home’s air filter is very 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 significantly harder to give you the same amount of air.
  • Frozen coil. If your system is running harder because of a dirty air filter, you also run the chance of having the cooling coil freeze inside of the system, because it’s operating overtime to leave you with cool air.
  • Total loss of cooling or heating. This is also a probability if your air filter goes unattended for months and months on end. In essence, you will have worked your system so hard that something gives out 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 may overheat or break down from the added work, possibly causing damage to your system.

In addition to these, you can also expect:

  • A diminished equipment lifecycle
  • Decreased 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 possible damage that may 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 we carry, give Parker Pearce Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning a call at or schedule an appointment online.

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