What a Damp Air Filter Means and Why You Shouldn’t Ignore It
While you know the air filter is an important part of your AC system, you may not know much about it beyond this fact. However, one issue that you should not ignore is if you have a damp air filter. In most cases, a wet filter is a sign that the condensate drain line has become clogged. If this clog occurs, the water will begin to backfill the drip pan, the pan will overflow and then begin to fall on other components of the system – including the filter.
To put it simply, the AC system will cool the air and when this occurs it produces water. There is a “bucket” that will catch the water and a drain at the bottom of the bucket to move the water away. In some cases, the drain will become clogged and the “bucket” will only have the capacity for a certain amount of water, which means it will eventually overflow.
Another cause of a wet filter, which is less common, would be if there is low air flow (dirty filter) or minimal refrigerant (a potential refrigerant leak), both which may cause your AC unit to begin leaking water.
Why is a Little Water so Bad?
To begin with, the air filter always needs to be dry. This is how it will clean the air. If you have a damp air filter then it can spread moisture into the ventilation and the HVAC system to the remainder of the home. If the filter stays wet for a long period of time, then it can become a breeding ground for mildew and mold that will also begin to quickly spread. If this issue persists, then you will eventually have to have the entire duct system cleaned or replaced or replace the entire HVAC unit.
Another issue with a wet air filter is that water will not just be dripping on to the filter – it is going all over the system. Water is bad for both the mechanical and electrical components. Mechanical seizing, electrical shorts and rust can all result from water getting inside of the system.
Finally, the water will not remain in the system for a long period of time. In most cases, the issue will be identified to begin with because of damp carpet. This is a sign that the condensate line has been blocked and that the house may be flooding before you know it.
What to Do Next
Prevention is much easier than finding a cure. This is why it is essential to make sure that you are seeking service from a quality AC technician. They will make sure the condensate drain is clear and that it will not clog or flood. If the air filter is wet, or even slightly moist, it is an issue that you should not ignore.
While you may think that just replacing the filter will solve the problem, this is not the case. You have to fix the underlying issue. This is only possible by calling a professional HVAC technician like the pros at Schomburg Heating & Cooling. Give them a call today at 1-816-238-0032.