How Does a Dirty Furnace Filter Affect Your System’s Efficiency and Performance?

furnace filterA dirty air filter is the number one cause of preventable furnace problems in Metro East area homes. Changing your filter is a simple task, yet it can have serious consequences when it’s left undone. Today we’re going to talk about the effects a dirty furnace filter has on your furnace and why it’s so important to regularly check and change the filter in your home!

How does a furnace filter get dirty?

Your filter’s job is to trap particles from your home’s air before they reach your furnace. This not only helps improve your home’s air quality, but also protects your furnace from the damage that those particles could cause.

The longer you have a filter installed, the more particles it will trap. At some point (about a month for standard 1” throwaway filters), the filter will trap so many particles that it will get clogged and begin to affect your furnace’s efficiency and performance.

What effects does a dirty filter have on furnace efficiency?

When your filter is clogged with dirt, it makes it hard for your furnace’s fan to blow air past the filter. As a result, your furnace’s blower will have to work harder and consume more energy than usual. A furnace that operates with a dirty filter will result in energy bills that are significantly higher than usual.

What effects does a dirty filter have on furnace performance?

In addition to decreasing efficiency levels, a dirty filter can cause performance problems with your furnace. For one, the extra work that a clogged filter forces your furnace to perform will result in added wear-and-tear that can shorten the operating life of your system, especially if you rarely change your filter.

In addition, dirt will bypass a clogged filter and build up on your furnace’s components. Dirt buildup can be extremely problematic for your furnace and lead to all kinds of efficiency, safety and performance issues.

How often should you change your air filter?

In order to avoid the many problems associated with a dirty air filter, it’s best to check your filter once every month. This is true even if your filter is designed to last longer than a month, because it’s always good to have a sense of what condition your filter is in. Be sure to change your filter as soon as you notice that it’s clogged up in order to keep your furnace running smoothly.

If you have any questions about the effects of a dirty furnace filter, or if you’d like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Tiger Services, your Glen Carbon plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor.

photo credit: Steven Vance


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