Barker Heating & Cooling What a Wet Air Filter Means in a Dublin Home What a Wet Air Filter Means in a Dublin Home
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  • What a Wet Air Filter Means in a Dublin Home

    October 6, 2017

    Last week, we went over the importance of your air filter and how large of a role it can play in your home. Today we tackle one issue that can go wrong with your air filter and how to fix, and prevent, it from happening. A strange, but not wholly uncommon problem that can occur is your air filter getting wet.

    Why is this a problem?

    Your filter works best when it is dry, as it is pulling air through to provide clean air for your home. If it is soggy, the moisture is preventing it from pulling that air through. Think of how clammy it feels when you have a shirt that is normally breathable on when it is soaked! Your air filter is made with paper and cannot do its job properly while wet. There are other risks. If left unattended, it can pull moisture into your ventilation, posing risk to other electrical and mechanical components in your system. Over time it may even be a breeding ground for contaminants, and won’t stay only inside the ventilation, creating damp spots on your carpet or floors, possibly damaging them.

    How does an air filter get wet?

    This is more likely to happen when the A/C is running, which is a decent period of time in our sunny sector. The air conditioner cools by running the warm, moist air from within your home around a series of evaporator coils. Condensation forms around the coils, but this is normal. A condensation pan is in place to catch the moisture and flush it out. When the condensation plan is clogged, however, the water can leak out, resulting in your air filter absorbing the moisture and becoming soggy. Other less likely causes that make the unit leak are that there is low airflow (from a dirty filter) or a low refrigerant (possible refrigerant leak).

    What can be done?

    You could change out the air filter, and this is a great step for when the issue is fixed. However, this is only tackling the symptom of the main problem. The issue will likely lie in your condensation pan being clogged. Turn off your air. If there is an obvious obstruction in the pan or drainpipe, then remove the obstruction and test your system. However, the best move to make is to turn off your system – to prevent further magnification of the problem – until you can call your HVAC professional to come see it.

    How is a wet air filter prevented in the future?

    Catching this problem before it begins is much easier than remedying it. Make sure that when your air conditioner is installed, it is installed by a professional. Having someone who doesn’t have the credentials put in your system can result in an improper installation, which could cost you more in the long haul with repairs needed to correct any mistakes made.

    If your system was already installed by a professional, then the easiest way to prevent this is to schedule regular maintenance for your HVAC system. When a technician is maintaining your system, they can check your condensation pan and drain line and make sure it is cleared properly. Overall, they can do a proper assessment and let you know how well your system was installed and if there needs to be any modification.

    Whether your air filter is soggy or you’re experiencing any other strange issues with your system, give us a call!

    Barker Mechanical Services is a fully licensed and insured, family-owned HVAC company located in Dublin, CA. We’ve offered the best in heating and cooling care since 1998. With 24/7 Emergency Service and our Money-Back Guarantee, there’s no reason not to reach out. You’ll see expert results in a timely manner!