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

October 07, 2015

One of the most routine concerns that we hear about at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning in North America is dusty air filters. They can seem like a very insignificant piece of the big home comfort puzzle, but the role they play in helping us maintain comfort is a lot bigger than most homeowners realize. 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 swap out your air filter? Here are a just a few of the side effects you could encounter:

  • Diminished airflow. This is easily the largest headache you’ll note when your home’s air filter is badly 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 running 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 working overtime to leave you with cool air.
  • Total loss of cooling or heating. This is also a probability if your air filter goes unchanged 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 more than it should. When your system short cycles, it could overheat or break down from the added work, potentially causing damage to your system.

In addition to these, you can also expect:

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

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

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