What Causes a Wet Air Filter and How Should You Deal With the Problem?

What Causes a Wet Air Filter and How Should You Deal With the Problem?From time to time, homeowners may experience a wet air filter in their central A/C system. This not only renders the filter ineffective, but it can also signal other problems in your cooling system that should be addressed.

A properly installed, clean and dry air filter is essential to effective, efficient air conditioning and heating. The filter removes dust and debris from the air before it’s drawn into the cooling equipment, which protects sensitive parts. If the air filter gets wet, mold and mildew can form on the filter, degrading indoor air quality. The wet filtration material also will impede the airflow that’s necessary for effective air conditioning.

What Causes a Wet Air Filter?

Central A/Cs have an indoor unit that contains the evaporator coil. This refrigerant-filled copper tube removes heat energy from the indoor air to create cool air. It also removes moisture. That moisture forms as condensation on the evaporator coil and then drips down into a collection pan where it drains away. If the drain line or collection pan is clogged or blocked, the water can back up and cause substantial damage, as well as saturate the air filter.

The air filter also can get wet if the air conditioner has been poorly installed or maintained or if it hasn’t been properly installed. In this case, condensation from the evaporator coil may somehow get to the air filter.

How to Keep the Air Filter From Getting Wet

Regular preventive maintenance for your air conditioning system will help prevent problems with the evaporator coil and condensation drainage system. However, you should also periodically check to make sure the air filter isn’t getting wet and that water isn’t backing up from the condensation drain. If you have any doubts about where and how to install an air filter, get a professional to help.

For more tips on avoiding a wet air filter and other A/C troubleshooting tips, contact the pros at Amarillo Air Conditioning. We provide superior HVAC services to the Amarillo area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Amarillo, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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