Why a Dirty Air Filter Could Cost You More to Cool Your Home

Every air conditioner has a filter that needs periodic replacement or cleaning. However, it’s often one of the most neglected home maintenance tasks. Here’s why a dirty air filter could cost you more to cool your Castaic, CA, home this year:

Longer Cooling Cycles

Your air conditioner works by drawing in air from your home, cooling it and pushing it back out. Before air can enter your AC unit, it must pass through the air filter to remove airborne contaminants.

When your air filter becomes dirty, it restricts the air moving through it, meaning there’s less air cooling your home. In turn, this means your air conditioner must run longer to cool your space to a comfortable temperature.


When your air conditioner cannot draw enough air, it causes unusual pressure to build in the system. This trips the system’s safety switches and shuts it down prematurely, only to start a few minutes later.

The start of the cooling cycle is the most energy-intensive part as it turns on the compressor. When your system short cycles, you could experience as many as 12 starts an hour, compared to two or three. More starts mean higher energy consumption, driving up your electricity bills.

Excessive System Wear

In addition to costing you more energy, a dirty air filter also adds wear to your AC system. That restricted airflow can cause your evaporator and condensing coils to freeze. Short-cycling also causes excessive wear on your system, especially the AC compressor.

This excessive wear causes AC system components to fail prematurely. That means that not only are you left with additional energy costs, but you’re also paying for preventable AC repairs.

Changing your dirty air filter is only the first step to maintaining your air conditioner and keeping your costs down. Call the expert service technicians at Clemmer Services Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule your AC maintenance appointment today.

Image provided by iStock

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