It’s that time of year again—time to break out the heavy blankets, cozy up by the fire, and crank up the heat. But before you do, there’s one important task you need to take care of: changing your furnace filter.
A dirty, clogged filter can cause all sorts of problems for your furnace, including reduced heating efficiency and increased wear and tear. Here are five ways a dirty filter can cause heating problems in your home.
1. Reduced Heating Efficiency
One of the most common problems dirty furnace filters cause is reduced heating efficiency. When your filter is clogged, it restricts airflow to your furnace. Furnace repair experts note that this makes your furnace work harder to heat your home, increasing your energy bills. A furnace that has to work harder is also more likely to break down sooner. So if you want to save money and extend the life of your furnace, be sure to change that filter regularly.
2. Increased Wear and Tear on the System
Another problem caused by restricted airflow is increased wear and tear on the system. All that extra work your furnace has to do to heat your home puts a lot of stress on the system, which can lead to premature breakdowns. In addition, all that extra heat from working overtime can also damage sensitive electronic components in your furnace, such as circuit boards and igniters. To avoid costly repairs and premature replacement, be sure to keep those filters clean.
3. Poor Indoor Air Quality
Not only does a dirty furnace filter reduce heating efficiency and increase wear and tear on the system, but it also negatively impacts indoor air quality. When pollutants are trapped in the filter, they get recirculated through your home every time the furnace kicks on. This can aggravate allergies and respiratory problems like asthma. To breathe easy this winter, be sure to change your furnace filter frequently.
4. Safety Hazards
Another problem caused by dirty furnace filters is an increased risk of safety hazards. A clogged filter can cause the furnace to overheat, which could lead to a fire. Additionally, when pollutants are recirculated through the home, they can build up on surfaces and lead to dangerous indoor air quality problems. To protect your family from these hazards, be sure to keep those furnace filters clean and replace them as needed.
5. Increased Energy Bills
When your furnace has to work harder to circulate air throughout your home, it uses more energy, resulting in higher energy bills. If you’ve noticed a sudden spike in your energy bill, chances are it’s due to a dirty, clogged filter in combination with other problems such as leaky ductwork, an inefficient furnace, or a malfunctioning thermostat. A furnace tune-up can help identify and fix these problems so you can keep your energy bills low.
Don’t Wait Until Winter Starts to Schedule a Furnace Inspection
One of the mistakes that many homeowners make is waiting until winter starts to schedule a furnace inspection. By then, it may be too late to avoid an unexpected breakdown. That’s why it’s important to have your furnace checked by a professional at least once a year, preferably in the fall. During a furnace inspection, the technician will clean and check all of the major system components. This includes the blower, the burners, the heat exchanger, and the flue.
The technician will also test the furnace to ensure it works properly. If any problems are found, they can be fixed before they cause a breakdown. A furnace inspection is relatively inexpensive, and it could save you a lot of money in the long run.