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

October 07, 2015

One of the most routine concerns that we encounter at Becht/Givens Service Experts in Louisville is dirty air filters. They can seem like a very insignificant piece of the overall home comfort puzzle, but the role they play in helping us create comfort is a lot larger than most homeowners notice. 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 neglect 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 headache you’ll notice 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 leave you with the same amount of air.
  • Frozen coil. If your system is working 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 provide 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 shortened equipment lifecycle
  • Reduced energy efficiency
  • Lower air quality
  • Greater 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 get around any likely damage that may come with a dirty 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 we have, give Becht/Givens Service Experts a call at or schedule an appointment online.

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