Category Archives: Home Products & Services

Signs That Your Air Conditioner Is Dirty

An air conditioning system’s surfaces collect a lot of dust, dirt and debris because of the constant movement of particle-laden air across them and the debris left behind by small pests like insects and rodents. Although filters near the motor and on vents, if applicable, help to prevent damage to the system and clean the air you breathe, they require regular maintenance.

To determine if your AC needs to be cleaned, look for these signs:

Dusty Surfaces

If you clean furniture and other room surfaces and then see dust again right after you turn on the AC or within a day or two, then you have a problem. Dust and dirt on internal parts like the fan and motor also indicate a dirty system. Additionally, you’re dealing with a dirty system if the ducts and vent grates, if applicable, contain dust and dirt, cobwebs, leaves or any other debris.

Clogged Filter

Although the filter or filters in your system are designed to prevent particles from exiting it in the air that cools your home or office, any type of filter should never have so much dust and dirt on it that air can’t pass through it with ease. Clogged filters reduce air flow, which can then cause system overheating, damage to parts and even a fire.

Poor Flow

If the air coming out of the register on a wall or window air conditioner or registers in a total home heating, ventilation and air conditioning system are putting out only a small amount of air, then you might be dealing with a dirty filter, unit or ducts. Poor air flow can also be a sign of a non-working fan, but it is best to check for dirt and debris first.

Warm Air

Debris buildup on the cooling mechanism in any type of air conditioner causes a cycle of ice build-up and melting that results in poor performance. The dirt insulates the coil or other system that cools the air. The air that flows over the cooling mechanism then fails to cool enough to bring a room or building temperature down to your chosen temperature setting. The system also runs longer in an attempt to reach that setting, which can cause overheating and more warm air flow.

Never forget that your air conditioner might still be dirty if it has clean indoor parts. The back of a window AC, for example, might have leaves blocking its air intake vents. With outdoor HVAC units, you might find insect or animal nests, leaves or dirt from nearby lawns or gardens after a rain or snow storm.

For more information, contact the air conditioning specialists at One Hour Air Conditioning of Springfield, Inc. at