What Happens if You Don't Change Your AC Filter?

If you don't change the air conditioner filter, it will start to fail. You won't be able to filter the air properly, allowing dust and contaminants to enter the air conditioner. This will clog up the moving parts of the system, such as motors and fan valves, and restrict airflow. This can cause immediate problems like headaches, itchy eyes or throat, and dizziness.

In the long-term, it can lead to respiratory disease, heart disease, or cancer. Not changing the filter can also cause damage to the oven due to excess heat. When an air filter is too clogged and dirty, debris ends up entering your HVAC system and circulating around your home. If you buy filters in-store, they usually come in white with pleats or ridges to help increase the filter surface area.

If you have more than one pet or suffer from chronic allergies or asthma, it's recommended to change your air filter every 20 to 45 days. If you don't change your air filter for a long time, you may experience a system failure such as a broken compressor, leaking refrigerant lines, or a faulty fan. To avoid this, it's best to change your air filter every 90 days or 3 months. In addition to damaging your air conditioning system, neglecting AC filter changes can also cause mold growth on vent covers, ducts, and inside the air conditioning controller.

This is especially true in areas with a lot of wildfires that make the air thick and harsh when breathing. It's important to understand how air filters work in your HVAC system and what can happen when they aren't changed on a regular basis. Homeowners who ignore filters in their heating and air conditioning systems risk increasing energy costs, damaging expensive equipment, and decreasing indoor air quality and personal health.