There is no getting around the fact that you're going to have to pay to heat your home. Running a heater doesn't come for free. Now, our winters are not exactly frigid, so you're probably not paying an exorbitant amount to heat your home. You may still be paying more than you should have to, though. If you want the most efficient and reliable performance that your heater has to offer, then you need to keep it in great working condition.
This means scheduling routine heating maintenance with a trained professional that you can trust to do the job right. That's why we're the HVAC contractor in Hendersonville, NC, to work with. Our maintenance program will ensure that your system is kept in the best working condition possible but there is still one step that you must take on your own. That is changing your air filter regularly. Only when your filter is fresh will your forced air heater function optimally.
Airflow Resistance Causes Big Problems
The major concern with a very dirty filter in a forced-air heating system is not really indoor air quality, as you may suspect. These standard filters are not really intended to improve the quality of the air in your home. Instead, they are there to protect the furnace or heat pump itself from problems caused by pollutants building up on integral components within the system. However, the filter itself can become a problem if it gets too dirty. Why?
The dirtier an air filter gets, the more airflow resistance it will create. That makes it harder and harder for the system to force heated air through that filter. The harder the system works to heat your home, the more it is going to cost to do so. And that can really start to drive up your energy bills over time. That's not even the worst of it, though. High energy costs are one thing, but damage to your system is another. And excessive airflow resistance can absolutely lead to damages over time.
Short Cycling: Deal with It Immediately
Your heater should not be running in short bursts. It should not be starting, running very briefly, and then stopping again. It should run in even, complete cycles. The situation we just described is short cycling, and that is a serious problem that can actually be caused by a very dirty air filter. If the filter is dirty enough, it can cause the system to overheat, and that system may then cycle down in an attempt to protect itself.
It's important to note that a very dirty filter is just one of many reasons why a heater may short cycle. If your system is short cycling, but the filter is clean, then you should definitely seek professional help. But always check that filter first. Don't let the wear and tear caused by short cycling drive up heating costs even higher while doing even more extensive damage to the heating system.