Wet Air Filter? Learn the Causes and How to Prevent It From Happening Again

A wet air filter in your home’s central air conditioning system is something you should watch out for. Moisture will not only render the filter ineffective, but also usually signals some other problem in your A/C system. If a wet air filter goes unaddressed, those problems can become serious.

When correctly installed and kept fresh, clean and dry, an HVAC air filter will remove unwanted particulates from household air, including pet dander, mold spores, pollen, bacteria and more. This not only enhances indoor air quality, but also protects system components, saving energy and improving performance in your HVAC system.

When the filter gets wet, mold and mildew can develop on the filter media, hampering indoor air quality. The wet filter also will restrict airflow that’s necessary for the cooling process and air distribution.

How Does an Air Filter Get Wet?

The inside unit of a central A/C contains the evaporator coil. Refrigerant in the coil removes heat energy from household air, along with moisture. While the refrigerant removes heat from the home, the moisture drips under the evaporator coil into a condensate collection pan. From there, it should safely drain away. If the collection pan and drain are clogged, however, the water can flood and damage areas around the inside A/C unit. It also may soak into the air filter. The air filter also can get wet if the air conditioner hasn’t been correctly installed or maintained, or if the filter was inserted the wrong way. These issues may allow condensation from the evaporator coil to get into the air filter.

Keeping the Air Filter Dry

Schedule routine maintenance for your A/C system, at least annually. A trained technician will make sure issues don’t arise that result in a wet air filter. However, you should also occasionally check the air filter to make sure it’s not getting wet and the condensate drainage system to ensure it’s not backing up.

For more tips on avoiding a wet air filter and other A/C tips, please contact us One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Northern Virginia. We provide quality services to Northern Virginia.