Annual AC maintenance is critical to keeping your air conditioner running effectively and efficiently, with as few repairs as possible, for as long as possible. But service from a professional once a year is not the only support your air conditioner needs. Your air conditioner has an air filter, and it needs to be changed often. If you don’t do that, it can result in major problems and expensive repairs.

The Job of the Air Filter

Dust and grit inside your air conditioner will cause wear and tear, increase friction, and lead to a risk of overheating. The air filter’s job is to catch as many of those particles as possible. The fact that the air filter catches dust and prevents it from recirculating throughout your home is lovely, but it’s a bonus. It’s there to protect the mechanisms of the air conditioner.

How to Change Your AC Air Filter

Turn off the air conditioner. Slide the filter out and take a look. Is it reusable? You can wash it, pat it with paper towels, and allow it to dry thoroughly. Is it disposable? Purchase replacements so you can simply throw them away as needed. Slide your cleaned or brand-new filter into position, and turn the air conditioner on again. If you’re unsure about this process, consult your owner’s manual or reach out to us with questions.

How Often to Change Your AC Air Filter

During the long period when your air conditioner is in use every day, you should generally change the filter once a month. If you have heavily shedding pets, construction near your home kicking up a lot of dust, or any other reason to think that the filter will clog more quickly, change it more often. During spring and fall, when the air conditioner is only in use sporadically, you can change it less often but never let it go more than three months without a change.

What Happens if You Don’t Change Your AC Air Filter

Having a thick layer of dust on your air filter will decrease the amount of air that can flow through your system. This will decrease the amount of cool air flowing out your vents and impact the effectiveness of your air conditioner. But let’s take a closer look.

Just past the air filter is the blower fan, with the motor that powers it. Air is sucked through the filter and blown over the evaporator coils. With a clogged filter, the motor will work harder and harder to pull enough air through.

This will eventually cause the motor to overheat. It may get hot enough to fuse the wiring, completely blowing the motor out and requiring air conditioning repair in San Antonio.

But it’s also very likely that the heat will trigger the limit switch, which will shut the system down to protect itself. Since your home will still be too warm, the thermostat will send the signal to start up again moments later, the motor will get too hot, and the limit switch will turn off the air conditioner, over and over.

Starting up so often is terrible for the compressor, which is designed to handle starting up every fifteen or twenty minutes. The compressor is the most expensive component in the system, and you don’t want to damage it.

Our professionals are ready to take care of you when you reach out. Contact Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating today to schedule an appointment with our professionals.

company icon