Most people gauge the effectiveness of their air conditioner on one thing — its ability to keep them cold. The problem with that assumption is that you can do a lot of damage to your ducts and your health by assuming everything's fine because your house is cool.
Why? Glad you asked.
Bad Air Filters
Air conditioning units, like many machines, include multiple parts to help them run as efficiently as possible. The people that design these machines also know that the people who use them will also neglect them at some point.
That doesn't mean neglecting them is good, though.
While your air conditioner may keep your house just as cool with last year's air filter, it might have to work harder to do so. That's because the air flow will become restricted. The coils inside the unit that are responsible for cooling the air that crosses over them will actually cool off more than they should.
Once that happens, one of two things could happen next.
1 — Damaged Parts
If anything, overcooling of the coils will damage the components inside, overwork the air conditioning unit, and, at the very least, lead to higher energy bills. That's the lucky scenario. Keep running it and you could damage your entire system. That's because when air conditioner shuts off, those coils will immediately begin to warm up.
If air isn't continuously running over them, when the air conditioner shuts off more of that cool air will need to warm up inside. That creates condensation the same way glasses with ice water condensate on summer days. Although air conditioning units are designed to operate with moisture and precipitation, that moisture could build up and lead to shorts in wiring and circuits.
2 — Mold
Despite a short circuiting air conditioning potentially costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars, it's not the worst problem you could face. Instead, all that moisture could increase the humidity level in your home. Not only does humidity cause a room to feel warmer, it's also great at inspiring mold to move in and start building.
According to the CDC, mold can begin forming and growing at relative humidity levels of 50 to 70 percent and it only takes 24-48 hours for those spores to anchor in and invite friends over. If left to continue, that mold can inhabit your ducts, become large, and lead to problems such as toxic mold which can lead to increased asthmatic problems and even respiratory damage.
So, while your air conditioner might run just fine right now, you might be doing some damage that you'd rather not deal with later — and will cost a whole lot more to repair. Click here to investigate air conditioner issues more closely.