An air conditioner not only cools the air for your comfort but also purifies it. Purification is an essential part of any air-conditioning system. Filters and air duct cleaning equipment are very important in the cleaning of air conditioning systems. The purification process takes place in different stages within an air conditioning unit.

Filter, one of the most important components for air duct cleaning, is a part that needs to be regularly cleaned or replaced depending upon the type of air conditioning unit. Have you ever thought about what could or would happen if you stop changing/replacing the filter altogether? It will be a disaster for sure, but what kind of issues might your air conditioner face?

To answer these questions, first, it is necessary to know about the different types of filters deployed in air conditions and what purpose they serve.

What Are the Different Types Of Air Duct Filters, And What Do They Do?

As the name suggests, this is one of the most basic components in any air conditioning unit. Its job is to purify the conditioned air before reaching you. Even though its structure is very simple, it is of utmost use to the filter.

First, take a look at how many types of air duct filters are there and what kind of impurities they eliminate from the air:

Fiberglass filters

They are very disposable and are the least expensive. They are excellent in filtering out large contaminants from the incoming air. However, you can’t use them for smaller particles of contaminants.

Pleated air filters

These are a notch finer than the previous ones. These are good in filtering out relatively smaller contaminants like dust, mold spores, and pollen. Their structure is made up of cotton or polyester.

HEPA filters

Also known as high-efficiency particulate filters, they don’t only filter out dust and other contaminants but are capable of filtering out most of the microbes like bacteria and viruses. However, due to their fineness, it is hard for the air duct to suck in air.

UV Filters

As the name suggests, these filters use UV light to kill all the microbes present in the air and make it germ-free. However, they don’t eradicate other types of impurities and contaminants.

What Can Go Wrong If You Don’t Change The Air Duct Filters?

As a simple answer to this question, a lot can go wrong, very wrong. Especially with the filters that filter out rather larger contaminants like dust. So, what are some of the consequences of not changing the filters?

An expensive electricity bill

You can easily understand why it is so. The more the contaminants will stick to the filter’s surface, the more obstruction will be there for the air to go inside the duct. In short, it will be difficult for the air conditioning system to suck in the air. As a result, it will have to use more electricity to suck in air, hence a big electricity bill to pay.

Deterioration in the air quality

The more the contaminants collect on the filter surface, the bigger the odds will be for the contaminants to get inside the system. If it gets inside the system and the air is to be conditioned, then what’s the meaning of installing the filter? It results in poor performance of the filter.

Malfunctioning of air conditioning unit’s internal components

Some of the contaminants can get inside the system. They can go to internal components like valves, motors, and compressors, and the conditioning unit can suffer from malfunction. If the components suffer malfunction, it can be an expensive affair to replace or repair them.

Other finer contaminants can contaminate the system

Finer contaminants like dust particles, mold spores, and pollen grains. The build-up of contaminants on the filter surface can also affect the performance of finer filters like HEPA. Not only the less fine filters but also the HEPA filters.

More effort in cleaning the air conditioning duct

With all the build-up of contaminants on the filter and inside the duct, it will be a herculean task to clean all the mess. Hence, it is a far better idea to either clean the filter only or change it from time to time.

Increased load on suction fans

The fans that are employed to suck in the outside air will have to do a lot more work than usual. The decreased inlet area due to the accumulation of contaminants on the filter will increase the load on the fans. As a result, the fan might even suffer from a malfunction. It will again result in an expensive affair of either repair or replacement.

Decrease in the inlet air mass flow rate

Again, this is a consequence of the accumulation of dust on the filter surface. It will decrease the effective inlet area. Hence, the amount of air that would enter the duct in a definite period won’t be as much as it should be. 

It can also result in a far worse problem- fluctuation in the inlet air mass flow rate. The amount of air entering the duct will increase and decrease randomly.

Lack of cooling

Since the accumulation of contaminants reduces the performance efficiency of the air conditioning system, the cooling also decreases. A decrease in the cooling generated by the system will add to your discomfort. So, it is better to clean the filters rather than deal with this situation.

What To Do To Evade These Problems?

The answer is simple. Clean or replace the filters regularly. Conventionally, the filters should be changed or cleaned every 30-60 days depending upon the size of your air conditioning unit. 

Don’t be lazy. Treat it as an important aspect of the maintenance of air conditioning systems. Taking care of this simple thing can save you money which you might have to use in the repairs.

Bottom line

Something as simple as taking care of the filter can keep your air condition system in fine and working condition. You don’t need to do a lot to maintain them. Just make sure you don’t slack off in changing or cleaning the air duct filters. Or else, you might end up paying a hefty price for this.