The Dangers of Reusing AC Filters

August 1, 2020

Taking proper care of air conditioning systems means not letting things go. When something appears wrong with the AC unit, calling in a repair professional to fix things makes sense. So does requesting routine maintenance work for your air conditioner.

Thanks to the internet and other sources of DIY information, some homeowners may try to perform fixes and maintenance on their own. Lacking experience, the average homeowner could make mistakes. One disastrous error to make involves reusing a filter inside of an air conditioner. While this “thrifty” plan seems like a great way to save money, the results could be dangerous. There are several possible hazards associated with reusing an air conditioning filter.

What Is the Purpose of an Air Conditioning Filter?

It is essential to point out the purpose of an air conditioning filter in the first place. Once homeowners realize what an air filter does, they may be less prone to reuse one.

An air filter serves as a screen that captures particles. An air conditioner, not surprisingly, pumps and circulates cool air throughout the home. Dust, dirt, dander, and other debris travel through the air. The filter captures impurities. When it comes time to throw out the dirty filter, all of the collected contaminants go with it.

Be mindful that the filter also screens out impurities from collecting inside of the air conditioning system. If dirt and more pile up on the various parts, then operational problems may arise. Changing the filter on time becomes a must. Putting a new filter into the unit proves to be the far more preferable option to reusing an old one.

Reusable versus Disposable

Homeowners must be aware that there are both reusable and disposable air filters available. With reusable air filters, it is possible to clean them and put them back into the air conditioner. Carefully and thoroughly cleaning these filters is a must. Of course, the homeowner should make sure the filter is a reusable one. Be 100% sure. Playing guessing games may prove disastrous.

Perhaps it might be wise to avoid using a reusable filter. Why take any chances of making a mistake? Purchasing a disposable one and replacing the old filter with a brand-new one seems like a preferable option.

Attempts to clean a disposable air filter will likely fail miserably. Many methods people use to clean the filters do not usually work very well, if at all. They are rife with problems and best avoided.

The Vacuum Plan Rarely Works

One strategy for getting rid of the dirt and dust involves vacuuming the filter. Even with a brush or other attachment, this method will not deliver workable results. Neither the suction nor the attachment can thoroughly remove all of the debris. The reason the filters require changing is dirt eventually clogs the filter. A clogged filter cannot perform efficiently. Again, problems may ripple through the system when the old, clogged filter fails to perform as intended.

Washing Filters to Clean Them

A little soap and water can go a long way when cleaning many items. Air conditioner filters, however, are not among them. Anyone who thinks it is possible to scrub filters clean thoroughly may find themself utterly mistaken. The small fibers inside of the filters would doubtfully respond well to physical scrubbing. Getting all of that dirt out would prove difficult, to say the least.

There is another issue that should not be overlooked when attempting to scrub filters with soap and water. Obviously, the screens get wet from the water. Assuming they will air dry with no problems could prove to be a disastrous mistake. The truth is that the filters now become prone to mold growth. Mold brings with it several other hazards and concerns.

Mold growing inside of the filters within the air conditioner creates the potential for spores to travel through the ducts. When mold circulates through the indoor air, risks increase that the people inside the house will breathe it. Needless to say, that is not a good situation to develop.

Mold growth is not the only issue of concern here, however. A wet filter will not be very efficient either. There is a reason why HVAC professionals do not waste time trying to clean disposable filters. Besides the process being inefficient, placing a wet filter inside of an air conditioning system is self-defeating.

Anyone living in the Macomb County region can place a call to C & C Heating & Air Conditioning for air conditioner work. If you need air conditioner repair, installation, or maintenance jobs performed, our company is the one to call.

Physically Damaging the Filter

A hands-on approach is not necessarily the best one. Frequently touching the filter increases the risk of damaging the material. Then again, even handling the filter one time could cause harm.

If you accidentally create an abrasion in the filter, there will now be a hole capable of letting contaminants travel through. A filter with holes in it cannot effectively perform its intended job. Therefore, the screen will not be filtering much of anything. The air conditioning system now runs the risk of suffering damage and decreased efficiency as a result.

Once again, a lack of experience and knowledge can come back to haunt someone with good intentions. Even removing and replacing the filter, which appears to be a relatively simple task, requires a careful and expert hand. Otherwise, things can go wrong. Cleaning a disposable filter, which is a dubious idea to begin with, presents even worse risks when performed by an inexperienced person. Damaging the filter can send many issues into motion. The possible repair costs resulting from such a decision could be far more than replacing a filter.

Letting a Professional Deal With Air Conditioner Filters

Why bother going through any hassles trying to deal with the air conditioner’s filters by yourself? Replacing AC filters is routine work that HVAC professionals perform. These pros know which specific filters go into a particular air conditioner. Better yet, when they replace the air filter, the professionals can perform other helpful duties. The air conditioner and other parts of the HVAC system might need a good cleaning. The technician can handle such a task.

Additional maintenance might be necessary when the time comes to replace the filter. A technician can perform a thorough inspection to see if all of the parts are operating properly. If not, then a recommended fix might take place. Getting a “heads up” about maintenance issues is a good thing. Who would want a problem to persist until it got worse?

One way to address routine care, inspections, and repair work involves signing up for a service contract. Annual examinations and other included care help to increase the chances the AC unit and furnace run well.

[Company_name] may prove helpful to those homeowners interested in keeping their air conditioners running without troubles. Besides performing AC-related work, our technicians also handle heating systems, duct cleaning, and indoor air quality issues. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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