4 Effects of a Dirty Furnace Filter

man removing dirty furnace filterDuring the cold winter months in Fort Collins, perhaps nothing keeps you as warm and comfortable as your furnace. Maintaining your furnace can be the difference between a cozy and safe house all year long and the system breaking down in the middle of a cold snap. One of the best things you can do for your furnace is to change the air filter regularly. If you think you need Fort Collins furnace repair, you may find that your furnace might just require a clean filter. A clean filter can prevent a number of problems and keep the furnace working properly. The furnace air filter should be changed every one to three months, depending on how often it is used. The small investment in a clean filter can lead to huge benefits for your home.

Wondering what happens if you don’t change your furnace filter? Here’s everything you need to know.

The Furnace Has to Work Harder

The main function of a furnace is to push warm air through the house. That warm air has to go through the air filter to remove dirt, dust, and other particles. As the filter gets dirty, it is harder for the air to move through the filter and go throughout the house, which causes the furnace to work harder. The blower motor requires more energy to push air through a dirty filter, which can cause the furnace to wear out faster. Forcing the furnace to work harder also increases the chance of the furnace overheating, which could lead to a fire or other major issues. If the furnace works too hard and overheats, it may need to be replaced entirely, which can be very expensive.

Energy Costs Increase

A dirty air filter not only means the furnace has to work harder, it means your energy costs will likely increase. With air not being able to move easily through the air filter, it is also more likely that the hot air will escape elsewhere, which lowers the furnace’s efficiency and causes the homeowner to pay for more energy just to have their home heated to the same level it would with a clean air filter. Even when the furnace is running, a dirty air filter can make it take longer for the room to get warm or cool, which means you are paying for energy that isn’t doing much to heat your home.

The Furnace Gets Clogged

As dirt and debris build up in the air filter, the furnace can get clogged. A furnace is a fine-tuned machine, and dirt and dust can lead to a number of other issues. The furnace fan moves that extra dirt and debris throughout the system, which can force particles into smaller crevices and onto surfaces where they don’t belong. Problems like broken motors and short-circuiting can be prevented by keeping the furnace in clean working order with a fresh air filter.

Air Quality Gets Worse

One of the main purposes of a furnace air filter is to remove dirt, debris, and allergens and keep the air clean for breathing. Even clean homes have microscopic things floating in the air that can be harmful to breathe. That’s why homes with pets or people with allergies are recommended to change their filters more often. A dirty filter can significantly lower the air quality of the home, making it difficult to breathe. Poor air quality has been linked to allergies and sickness, especially in people who are already prone to respiratory issues like asthma. Poor air quality is particularly noticeable in homes with pets and in urban areas, where there tend to be more particles in the air.

Changing the furnace air filter is one of the easiest and most important things you can do for home maintenance. These four effects of a dirty furnace filter show just how fragile the systems are when they get dirty. Taking the time to change the filter regularly can prevent many major issues. If you think you might need furnace repair services in your Fort Collins home, start by changing your air filter.

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