July 24, 2017
By Mark Paup

What Can Happen if You Don’t Change Your Furnace Filter

Updated January 23, 2024

We’re focused on regular maintenance for plumbing, HVAC & electrical systems because we’ve seen firsthand what can happen when these parts of a home aren’t taken care of professionally each year. But not all maintenance tasks need to come from professionals. One basic step of caring for an HVAC system is one you have to attend to on your own: changing the air filter every 1 to 3 months. We’ve written a post specifically about how often to change the filter, and we recommend reviewing it.

Today, we want to, well, scare you a little bit and tell you what can happen if you don’t change the filter on schedule. Several things can go wrong when an AC is congested filter is left in place. Read about them below, and make sure you turn to us for air conditioning service in Indianola, IA whenever you need it.

What Might Go Wrong with a Clogged Filter

  • Drop-in airflow: The filter protects the interior of the air conditioner’s cabinet from dust and other debris coming through the return air ducts. But if it’s clogged, it will also stop the air from getting through, and this means a drop in airflow throughout the supply vents. You may notice rooms getting hotter than they should because they aren’t receiving the level of airflow they’re supposed to.
  • Tripped circuit breaker: When an AC trips a circuit breaker while it runs, it means the blower motor is putting too much demand on the circuit. A common cause of this increase in strain is a clogged filter, which makes the blower motor’s job harder. Change the filter and try the AC again to make sure the breaker doesn’t trip. (If it continues to trip, there’s probably an electrical issue that needs to be repaired.)
  • Ice on the evaporator coil: Ice should never appear on the AC’s evaporator coil. (Or any other part of the AC.) There are several possible causes for this, but a common one is a clogged filter. The congested filter won’t allow enough warm air to cross over the coil, leaving the refrigerant inside it too cold, and this triggers the ice. You’ll need to change the filter, but you’ll also need to call professionals to defrost the coil and see if there’s anything else behind the problem.
  • Component damage: The filter keeps dust and other particles from harming the components of the air conditioner. The motors are the most vulnerable since even a thin coating of dust over the motors will increase friction and shorten the equipment’s life. If a filter becomes clogged, it will start to bend with the air pressure, allowing debris to escape around the sides and get into the cabinet. In other words, the dirtier the filter, the less effective it is at its main job!

Remember, just changing the filter isn’t enough when it comes to maintenance! If you haven’t signed up for air conditioning maintenance in Des Moines, IA, it’s easy to get started. Our team will help you arrange for the annual service for both your air conditioning and heating system.

At Golden Rule, “We Obey the Rules to Live By!” If you want a Service Provider who will treat you and your home like their own, then call us today.

Contact Us Today for HVAC Service!

If you found this post helpful, learn what happens if you don’t change your furnace filter:

  Welcome to Golden Rule, where we are dedicated to providing top-tier residential home services. Today, we’re excited to introduce the Ruud RA15AZ Endeavor Line Achiever Series... Read More
Decoding Static Pressure in HVAC Systems
Decoding Static Pressure in HVAC Systems: A Homeowner’s Guide Hey there, homeowners! Why might your heating or cooling system feel like it’s not hitting the mark? It... Read More
How to choose the right HVAC system for your home
Hey there, homeowner! Are you tired of sweating in the summer and freezing in the winter? It’s time to tackle the challenge of finding the perfect HVAC... Read More