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Sound Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. Blog

What Does Dirt Do to an Air Conditioner?

An old air conditioner unit, in need of updating, sitting in tall weedsAs a homeowner, you probably do all that you can to keep your home clean. After all, a clean home is a happy home, right? This cleanliness probably involves the removal of dust from spaces like your furniture and the floor, even ceiling fans and light fixtures. But what about your air conditioning system?

Just because this appliance and the attached ductwork are out of sight does not mean they should be out of mind. Your air conditioner is a major investment in your overall home comfort, and dust, dirt, and debris within it can cause problems for people with allergies and asthma, as well as problems with the AC unit itself. This is why air conditioning maintenance in Tacoma is so important—a huge component of that is a comprehensive cleaning. But why does this matter so much?

Debris and Your Indoor Unit

The indoor portion of your cooling system includes a coil with refrigerant running through it, and an indoor blower fan that sucks in warm air from your home, over the cooled coil, and through the rest of your living space. As that fan sucks in this air, it may also suck in dust and debris if not for a clean air filter.

If too much debris reaches the indoor air handler, it can do some major damage. Like we said, a clean air filter helps to prevent this, but debris can still make its way into the motor. Our technicians have even found in the past that dust and dirt can get lodged in the fan motor, which needs to be thoroughly cleaned during maintenance in order to operate efficiently.

More about Clogged Air Filters

There’s a fairly common misconception that the air filter of your HVAC system is there to protect your indoor air quality. While a clogged air filter will certainly block airflow and make the quality of your indoor air worse, that is not its intended purpose.

The air filter is in place to protect the inside components of the air conditioner. In particular, the indoor coil. A dirty filter can restrict air from moving over this coil as it’s meant to, and your air conditioner won’t work properly, causing it to wear down faster than it normally would.

Debris and Your Outdoor Unit

The outside coil of your cooling system is tasked with releasing heat from refrigerant into the air around the unit. This is how your air conditioner cools your home, by removing heat from it. Therefore, when there is dirt on the outside coil of the AC system, it can interfere with the entire process of cooling. Heat can have trouble dissipating into the air, which means your system can’t effectively cool your home.

Be sure to schedule your annual maintenance with a professional, and we’ll take care of this for you. Maintenance includes a comprehensive inspection of your system, and a thorough cleaning of the outside coil, indoor components, and more.

Contact Sound Heating today! We take your comfort as serious as you do.

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