What Should You Do About a Wet Air Filter

A wet air filter indicates a problem within the cooling system which should be addressed as soon as possible before it gets worse or leads to other system failures. Running your cooling system with a wet air filter reduces energy efficiency and negatively affects indoor air quality.

Causes of a Wet Filter

An air conditioner condenses humidity from the air on its evaporator coil. The cold refrigerant circulates through the coil, and as the warm air indoors contacts it, the refrigerant absorbs the heat changing it to a gas, then back to a liquid to facilitate the cooling process. Condensation on the coils drips into a pan to be drained away through a drainpipe. The drain pan can sometimes become clogged, and the filter can eventually absorb water.

Left wet, the filter will not be able to do its job, and reduced airflow, whether from water, results in less cooling and higher energy bills. Another result of a wet filter is the creation of an environment that is ideal for mold growth, which may even spread to other parts of your system and your home. If the system was not properly installed, this could also lead to the filter becoming wet.


When the air conditioning system is not draining properly, the condensate pan and drainpipe need to be cleaned. If the clog is obvious in either the pan or the drainpipe, go ahead and remove it. Otherwise you will need to contact your HVAC contractor who has tools to clean and clear more difficult or hard to reach clogs.

When the technician evaluates your cooling system, he or she will be able to assess how well it was installed and whether it needs to be modified. The technician can also recommend the intervals between checking the air filter and scheduling professional maintenance. Regularl maintenance is one effective way to prevents clogs and system malfunctions.

Custom Air & Plumbing has the expertise to help you with any HVAC-related problem. Give us a call at (866) 819-0992 for more information or to learn more about our services.

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