Is a Dirty Air Filter More Efficient?

Particulate capture efficiency increases as the filter becomes dirtier; buildup in the fibers reduces the openings through which air passes and allows the filter to capture more particles. This is beneficial only to a certain extent. Dust and debris in the filter slow down airflow, forcing the heating or cooling system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. This wastes energy and increases your utility bills. Heating and air conditioning account for nearly half of energy costs in a U.

S. household. A clogged filter causes those systems to use 15 percent more energy, according to the U. Department of Energy.

Dirty air filters compromise the efficiency of your unit because your system is working harder to reach its target temperature. Some people think they'll save money by buying fewer air filters, but with the HVAC system working harder, they'll most likely have a higher energy cost. It's better to save money with a clean filter. An HVAC system is designed to provide heating or cooling services to your living space so that you and your family can be comfortable. Clogged air filters can affect the overall performance of your HVAC system, causing it to work harder and operate less efficiently.

In addition, an HVAC system helps control the humidity in your home. Dirty air filters can negatively affect your home's humidity levels. Failure to perform this simple maintenance task can reduce overall comfort levels in your home. Any properly designed forced air system has maximum efficiency based on an acceptable flow range. A clogged filter continuously recirculates those particles back home, causing you and your family a range of health-related symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, cold-like symptoms that never seem to go away, and chronic allergies. In addition, if you have pets, smoke, or have a remodeling project underway, all of this can add to poor indoor air quality.

The air cleaner is designed to trap contaminants in the outside air before it is circulated throughout the house by the system. If the air filter becomes clogged during the summer cooling season, cold air buildup can cause ice to form on the air conditioning coils or evaporator. Even those with strong constitutions can feel the effects of poor air quality on their overall health. If a hoarder fills your home with garbage, displacing enough internal air volume with static mass, the system will have to work harder to change the temperature when it finally comes time to replace the filter, which in all likelihood has been clogged for the past 6 months. Given the money you've already invested in your home, not to mention the priority you place on your health, not changing air filters regularly just doesn't make sense.

The harder the system has to work to extract air throughout your home, the more energy you need and the higher your energy bills. Not only will a dirty air filter cause an inefficient and improperly functioning air conditioner, it can also damage your oven. Over time, dirt that accumulates in the ducts will be distributed throughout the house and into the air you breathe. It brings expert knowledge of a wide range of home air filtration topics, including HVAC filters, filtration efficiency, and indoor air quality. Reduced airflow can create hot and cold spots in your home, making it difficult to achieve the desired indoor temperature at a higher cost.

Hannah Sawatzki
Hannah Sawatzki

Hipster-friendly pop culture maven. Hipster-friendly web practitioner. Infuriatingly humble bacon nerd. General social media fan. Hipster-friendly beer enthusiast.