The Dangers of Reusing AC Filters

The air filter inside an HVAC system performs an essential duty. No matter how clean the home may be, there will be impurities in the air. Therefore, putting a new filter inside the system becomes critical once the old screen is incapable of doing its job. Yes, there are expenses associated with installing a new filter. While it is understandable that a homeowner may want to keep a budget under control, shortcuts should not be taken. Reusing an old filter ranks high on the list of actions best avoided. Here’s a look why that’s the case.

Reusable and Disposable Filters

There are two types of filters available: reusable and disposable ones. The reusable filters may be cleaned and re-inserted. That said, some critics aren’t entirely fond of using them. A brand-new screen might do the job a lot better.

Disposable filters must be thrown away upon reaching their expiration point. However, some homeowners might choose to attempt to clean disposable filters. Doing so could be a horrible idea. Besides being incredibly inefficient, attempts to clean a disposable filter could prove dangerous.

Mold Infestations

One concern with cleaning a disposable filter involves issues related to mold. Once a filter gets wet, mold could grow on it. The damp filter goes inside the air conditioner and remains out of sight. A homeowner may never know how severe the mold growth becomes until it is too late. And remember, air circulates through that filter and, thanks to the fan, heads through the ducts and into the home.

If there is mold on the filter and inside the HVAC system, the potential exists that mold will circulate through the ducts and elsewhere. Mold presents a health hazard, and, in this case, it reflects an avoidable danger. The mold night might not have grown had the filter not been wet in the first place.

Be aware that a wet filter doesn’t work efficiently either. Once the filter dampens, don’t expect it to do a thorough job at filtering out dirt, dust, debris, and impurities.

Handling and Damaging the Filter

Attempts to brush out the screen run the risk of damaging the filter. Filters should not undergo any unnecessary handling. The chance of damaging the material increases every time someone touches the screen. If a rough cleaning pokes holes into the filter, then a pathway for impurities to escape exists. The screen cannot catch everything when it has holes inside of it.

Another mistake people make is they will try to vacuum the filter. Once again, the potential exists that the filter will suffer damage due to the ill-advised cleaning attempt.

Even the most reliable vacuum suction and the perfect attachment won’t likely do much good. The fibers that comprise the filter are quite small, and they don’t respond well to manual cleanings. So, besides risking the chance of damaging the filter, the entire process may prove futile.

Some tasks are best left to professionals. Honey's Air & Solar continues to deliver heating and cooling services to people living in the Modesto region. Our technicians handle installation, repair, and maintenance jobs.

Air Quality and Performance Issues

Several problems arise when the filter suffers damage. Indoor air quality may decline because the filter is unable to do its job. A filter that doesn’t screen out impurities cannot block them from traveling into the home.

Also, the HVAC system might suffer mechanical problems due to a defective filter. Additional repairs might become necessary to fix the problem, and those repairs could be costly ones.

Even if the system doesn’t break down, it runs the risk of running inefficiently. Expect utility bills to be higher and performance to be lower. In short, neither the furnace nor the air conditioner works at peak performance when suffering from operational problems.

Going With an Inspection

Requesting an annual inspection from an HVAC contractor might be a far better plan than attempting DIY jobs. Allow a professional to look over your system, replace necessary parts such as filters, and otherwise make maintenance suggestions. Doing so might be a far less dangerous option, as well.

You can trust Honey's Air & Solar in Modesto for all your HVAC cleaning, repair, or maintenance work. We also offer window, solar, and generator-related services. We’re committed to working with integrity in every job we do for our valuable customers. Our NATE-certified technicians guarantee your satisfaction. Call us today.

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