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Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

How a Clogged Air Filter Can Cause Your Air Conditioner to Break Down

Your air conditioner is a pretty sturdy system, and most are manufactured to last up to 20 years with proper maintenance. However, a single problem can still cause your entire air conditioning system to break down. It’s important that you are aware of these dangerous problems so that you can have them addressed as soon as they crop up. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what can happen when an air filter in your system becomes clogged.

The evaporator coil in your air conditioner is the part that absorbs heat from your indoor air. It does this by evaporating refrigerant, which causes condensate to form on the coil. Normally, this condensate would drain off of the coil and out of the system. If dirt or dust is allowed to infiltrate the system, though, the condensate will cause it to stick to the coil. This will cause all sorts of problems. That’s why an air filter is installed, to prevent particles from sticking to the coil. If the air filter is not cleaned or replaced often enough, however, it can create problems of its own.

If the air filter isn’t maintained, it will become so clogged with dirt and dust that it cuts off the air flow to the evaporator coil. The coil relies on a steady flow of warm air, in order to maintain a balanced temperature. Without that warm air, the condensate will freeze on the coil, forming ice. Ice buildup can not only permanently warp the coil, but it can spread to other parts of the system and freeze them. This causes a complete system breakdown. The only way to stop this from happening is to have your air conditioner checked at least once a year, to make sure the air filter and other parts of the system are in good shape.

If you haven’t had your air conditioner checked yet this year, call Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration. We provide air conditioning maintenance services throughout Santa Fe, NM.

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