Heat pumps and furnaces, both gas and electric, are what we call forced air heating systems. That simply means that they heat air and then use a fan and ductwork in order to distribute that heated air throughout the house. In addition to this shared method of heat distribution, forced air heaters share another trait in commonb their use of air filters. Know what else they share in common? The fact that a dirty filter will cause them problems.
How big of a problem could a dirty air filter really cause? Well, keep reading. We’ve got a whole blog post about it, so that should give you a hint about how serious of an issue your dirty air filter can really be. Not only is it detrimental to your system’s performance, but it can actually lead to the need for heating repairs in Asheville, NC, as well. Don’t let something as simple to handle as a dirty air filter cause big problems for you!
What’s the Big Deal?
Hey, the air quality in my home seems to be fine. We’re not having coughing and sneezing fits. What’s the issue?B
The issue is that, first of all, this air filter is not really there to boost indoor air quality throughout your home. The fact that air quality seems fine does not mean that your standard air filter doesn’t need to be changed. If you want to clean up the air in your home, you’ll want to use a designated filtration system or an air cleaner.
That standard filter is actually meant to protect your HVAC system itself. It filters out bigger pollutants that would otherwise enter the system and build up on sensitive components. With that out of the way, let’s look at what might happen if you have a dirty filter in place.
- Energy efficiency can suffer. The harder that your heater has to work in order to heat your home, the more energy it is going to use in doing so. The more energy that your system uses, the more it costs to heat your home. Spending a few dollars and a few minutes to replace your air filter can really help you to save energy and money.
- Your heater can short cycle. Short cycling can occur when your heater starts to overheat. Because airflow resistance increases when your air filter is clogged up, your system may start to overheat as it tries to heat your home. The system may then shut down to prevent itself from overheating.
- Damages can occur. Short cycling really takes a toll on your heater. It drives up energy costs even further because the system will use more energy when starting up than when running regularly. It also put a lot of excess wear and tear on the system, and that greatly increases the risk of damages over time.
Once a Year? Not Enough!
Well, I schedule annual maintenance and my technician changes the filter. Crisis averted!B
Not really, no. Sure, your technician will change your filter during your tune-up. But your filter should be changed every 1-3 months. Once a year is not enough! Change your filter as recommended/necessary!