What Happens When Your Air Filter Gets Clogged Up?

A clogged air filter can have a serious impact on your car's performance and your home's comfort. Decreased fuel economy, engine failure, and difficulty achieving desired indoor temperature levels are all potential consequences of a dirty air filter. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the air filter every 12,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. A dirty air filter decreases the amount of air supplied to the engine.

This can cause an increase in unburned fuel that becomes soot residue. Soot can build up on the tips of the spark plugs, making them unable to produce a proper spark. In return, the car may move abruptly, idle, and in some circumstances, the engine may fail. A decrease in gasoline mileage is often a sign that something is wrong.

Air filter contributes to fuel efficiency, but a dirty filter can reduce oxygen flow. A vehicle must compensate for this by burning more fuel to compensate. With every revolution, the engine needs to breathe; a clogged air filter slows airflow. As the air filter picks up more debris, the airflow slows down even more, making it difficult for the engine to breathe and generate power and torque.

If you're an energetic driver, a filled air filter will drag you down. Decreased fuel economy is a clear sign of a faulty or dirty air filter. A dirty or bad air filter restricts airflow, which reduces oxygen in the mixture. Your engine compensates for this by consuming more fuel to produce enough power to move the same distance or speed as it could with a clean filter.Fans drive air through the filter.

If the filter becomes too clogged with dust, dander and debris, then the blower has to work harder to get air through a clogged filter. With reduced airflow, you may experience hot and cold spots in your home, and it can be difficult to achieve desired indoor temperature levels.Over time, the air filter becomes less effective in carrying out its work. All captured dust, grease and other contaminants eventually clog the filter so much that it blocks the flow of clean air to the engine. Since the engine incessantly pours gasoline, constrained to the same proportion, without the car knowing, the volume of air in the mixture is actually turned off.

A clogged air filter will allow all the dust and debris that needs to be filtered to circulate back to your home.Most manufacturers recommend replacing the air filter every 12,000 miles (approximately 19,000 km) or every 12 months, whichever comes first. It looks the same and basically performs the same function, trapping dirt, dust, contaminants and debris as the air passes through the inlet. If you notice unusual noises, in particular a coughing, clicking or spitting noise, this suggests that the engine does not receive enough airflow, which means that the air filter needs to be replaced. Once you've identified a dirty filter, you can choose to clean it if it's relatively new, but somehow you've trapped a larger piece of debris in one of its folds.Contrary to intuition, dirty air filters do not affect the fuel economy or emissions of computer-controlled gasoline and diesel engines, provided they were built after the introduction of closed-loop oxygen sensor feedback systems.

To prevent this from happening, automotive experts recommend replacing filters every 12,000 miles or 12 months but always remember to consult your owner's manual for details of your vehicle's air filter replacement programs.Vehicles have an air intake system to suck in air and purify it before using it in this air-fuel mixture. Modern computer-controlled engines can adjust fuel injection to compensate for a dirty air filter but carburettor engines rely on airflow for fuel delivery.In addition to increasing your utility bill, reducing airflow through your heating and cooling system can cause your heat exchanger to overheat and shut down too quickly preventing your home from heating up.So what's the problem? Does an air filter really matter? In an effort to answer this let's take a look at what happens if you don't routinely change your heating and cooling filter.Replacing an air filter is actually one of the easiest DIY tasks you can perform on your vehicle so 95% of people should be able to change it on their own. However you can clean reusable and foam filters but only with specific applications and you must dry them before replacing them.Air entering your system tends to contain contaminants such as dirt sand worn tire particles dust and pollen so it needs to pass through an air filter which traps these contaminants and allows clean air to pass to your engine.