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Can a Dirty Air Filter Hurt Your Heater?

man-holding-air-filterIf you’ve followed our blog from the beginning, you’ve likely seen it in writing many times that we recommend you change your HVAC air filter every 1-3 months. We aren’t just throwing this out as a suggestion—we are offering this advice as a way for you to get the most effective and efficient use from your heater (and air conditioner) as possible.

Considering how much we’ll be using our heaters this winter, don’t you want to do everything you can to prevent emergency repair needs?

There is one way to do so—by performing one small maintenance task on your own—changing out your air filter. You might be surprised by just how important this small HVAC component is. IT’s about more than protecting your indoor air quality. In fact, that’s not even the purpose of this air filter—your furnace’s air filter is in place to protect the actual furnace itself. More on that below!

The Goal of Your Air Filter

As we mentioned above, the purpose of the HVAC air filter is to protect the HVAC system, not your indoor air quality. Today’s filters are definitely designed to optimize air quality as much as possible, however, because your HVAC system’s blower fan sucks in air at such a high rate, it could also be sucking in heavy amounts of allergens and debris.

Dirt, dust, and other particles in the air of your living space can build up and damage the furnace, pummeling it with that debris. The filter is in place to protect your furnace form the particles, and clogged up air filter can start creating problems of its own.

The Problem with a Dirty Air Filter

Both your forced-air heater and air conditioner are designed to take in a certain amount of air with each cycle they go through. This airflow helps to ensure you always feel comfortable, but also that the HVAC system motor doesn’t run for too long. Debris and dirt clog up the fliter and won’t allow the right amount of air through, which affects more than simply your comfort.

Sure, you’ll feel less comfortable due to the lack of airflow, but you will also find yourself paying more to even use your HVAC system. Your furnace will have to run nonstop in order to compensate, which results in higher monthly bills. A dirty air filter also leads to serious repair issues, to resolve problems like:

  • Short-cycling
  • Overheating
  • Emergency Furnace Repairs
  • Freezing Coils

Changing Your Furnace Filter

Fortunately, changing your air filter is a relatively easy process. It’s the only maintenance task that homeowners can do on their own, and the only one we encourage you to do on your own. HVAC air filters are generally affordable and you can stock up on enough for a year from your local hardware store.

You can usually find this filter in a marked point near your air handler, and there will be arrows directing you on what direction to put the filter in. If you have any concerns or questions, you can, of course, reach out to our team!

Work with a team “Dedicated to the Promise of Serving You!” Contact Covenant Heating and Cooling for heating repair in Smyrna, TN today.

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