2 Ways Dirt And Grime Inside Your Central AC Unit Lowers Efficiency

If your central air conditioner seems to be running a lot, or your energy bills are starting to skyrocket, you may think that there could be seriously wrong with the unit. However, it is possible that the interior of your AC unit is simply dirty. There are a couple of ways that dirt and grime on the inside of your central air conditioning unit can lower its efficiency.

1.  Dirty Filter Decreases Air Flow

One of the most common causes of lower efficiency from a central AC unit is a dirty filter. Because the filter is responsible for removing dirt, dust, pollen, and other particles from the air in your house, it can become clogged fairly quickly.

If the fibers on the filter are caked with a combination of these particles, the air flow throughout the unit will be at least partially blocked. Because the air cannot flow freely, the motor will have to work harder to push the air through the filter, which will result in more energy used.

Fortunately, an efficiency problem caused by a dirty filter is easy to remedy. Simply change the air filter, and make sure you do so at least every month while you are using the air conditioning.

2.  Grimy Condenser Coils Decreases Heat Transfer

Another area inside your air conditioner that can become filthy is the condenser. Since the condenser is responsible for transferring heat from the air it is processing to the outside, the condensation and heat can attract grime, which creates a filmy residue on the coils.

If the condenser coils become grimy, the layer of dirt will decrease their ability to pull heat out of the condenser. This inability to transfer heat will make the condenser work harder to cool the air, which causes it to draw more electricity. And, if the condenser remains dirty, it may start to overheat and wear down faster.

If you are comfortable cleaning the coils yourself, turn off the power to the unit, open the access panel, and gently wipe the coils clean. However, if you would rather not attempt to do it yourself out of fear of damaging the coils, have a professional do the task for you.

Even after changing the filter and cleaning the condenser coils, you may discover that your air conditioner is still not running at the peak performance it should be. If so, contact an HVAC contractor who offers residential air conditioning services to have them thoroughly clean and inspect the unit to find out why so that any issues can be fixed.