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What Happens if I Don’t Replace My Furnace Filter?

furnace filtersYour furnace is an incredibly important part of your home, as it keeps your space comfortable during the cold months. But for as important as this unit is, far too often do furnaces fall into disrepair. The most common culprit behind furnace breakdowns? Dirty air filters.

An air filter is simple enough to clean or replace, but it often falls outside of a person’s daily concerns, meaning that it becomes forgotten. But what happens during this time, between air filter changes? A lot can go on, actually, and after a certain point none of it is good.

Your Air Becomes Dirtier

One of the primary purposes of an air filter is to trap particles in the air as they move from room to room. This promotes healthier air for everyone in the home, though it is especially important to asthmatics, those with allergies, and people who suffer from respiratory ailments. Everybody benefits from breathing in cleaner air. When a filter becomes clogged and can no longer be clung to by passing particles, those particles end up in the air we breathe.

The Furnace Has to Work Harder

A free and clear air filter allows for the best airflow possible, so when it becomes clogged with debris the air circulated by the furnace gets strangled. This causes the unit to work harder to achieve the same goal-warming your home. The motor can become overworked and, in the worst-case scenario, this can result in needing to buy a new furnace system entirely. Breakdowns are incredibly common among furnaces that haven’t been properly tended to in a long time, and mostly for this reason.

Your Energy Costs Rise

When your furnace has to increase its workload due to debris clogging its air filter, it has to withdraw additional power to work. This expenditure of power is already pretty significant as a normal portion of your energy bill, but this increased demand for power only makes things more expensive. Quite simply:

The harder your furnace must work = The more energy it uses = The more you pay.

Your HVAC System Gets Dirty

Another primary feature of your furnace’s air filter is that it is designed to keep dirt, dust, pet hair and other unwanted elements from reaching the interior components of the unit. When the filter is dirty, these things can actually end up inside of the furnace, causing damage to its parts and leading to repairs and even a replacement of the entire system.

As you can see, a lot can go wrong when your furnace’s air filter isn’t properly tended to. To prevent this, changing or cleaning your filter periodically is all you need to do, ideally you should opt for a MERV rated filter. If you’re not sure if you’ll have the time, or if you simply do not know how to do this yourself, call in the professionals. An HVAC maintenance and repair service will gladly help you keep your furnace in tip-top shape for years to come.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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