Dirt’s Effect on Your HVAC System

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.” This can be a big problem where your HVAC system is concerned. Many homeowners aren’t aware that the interior components of the system can collect dust and debris, leaving the unit in a compromised operating condition. Additionally, that hidden dirt can affect your indoor air quality. It’s important to have your unit maintained periodically to ensure that issues like excessive dirt are addressed.

What Does Dirty Do to an HVAC System?

The buildup of dirt is a top reason for heating and AC repair. Dirt that moves beyond your air filter can settle on air conditioner coils, fan motors, blower parts and the drain pan. In a furnace, excessive dirt and residue can affect sensors, heat exchangers and burners. Your ducts can also harbor dust. During humid months, mold growth can be promoted by excessive dirt combining with moisture.

The presence of dirt can lead to impaired operation of your equipment. For example, a buildup of dirt and grime on your evaporator coils can inhibit the process of heat transfer between the refrigerant and the indoor air. This leads to your system having to operate longer for desired temperatures to be reached, and your compressor can be overworked in the process. A compressor is one of the most expensive replacement parts on an air conditioner or heat pump, an issue that can also shorten the life of your system.

In a furnace, dirt clogging blower wheels and other parts can restrict the flow of air, leading to more work for your system to produce desired comfort levels. Additionally, excessive dirt can be dangerous. If your heat exchanger or venting components are affected by the presence of dirt and residue, carbon monoxide could build, leading to the potential for CO poisoning.

The Basics of Cleaning Your Equipment

There are two primary steps that you need to do to maintain the integrity and cleanliness of your heating and cooling equipment. The first is to be meticulous about checking and changing your air filter. A fresh filter should be used at the start of the heating or cooling season, and a monthly check of the condition is advisable. Change the filter throughout the season as needed. Select a high-MERV unit with a rating between eight and 12 for the best results. Your filter’s primary purpose is to protect your equipment from dust and other particulate material, but a high-MERV choice can also be a helpful defense against allergens and indoor air pollution.

The second step in maintaining your system is to schedule preventive maintenance prior to each heating and cooling season. In addition to thoroughly inspecting your system and making necessary adjustments, your HVAC technician will clean critical system components that may affect the performance of the unit. You should experience improved comfort levels and energy efficiency as a result of proper maintenance. The team at WA Air Conditioning will be happy to schedule AC or furnace service for your Riverside, TX, home. Call our office for an appointment.


December 11, 2013 10:13 pm