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3 Signs You Have a Dirty Furnace Air Filter

February 21, 2023

Here's the simple truth of it all. If you have a dirty or clogged-up furnace air filter, it will cause your furnace to work harder to push cool or warm air through. This will increase your cooling or heating billsand put unnecessary pressure on your furnace, which could cause wear and tear and even damage in the long run.

The solution is simple enough. Make sure you know the signs of a dirty furnace filter, so you can change them timely and avoid increasing your utility bills. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Lower Indoor Air Quality

The EPA says that indoor air pollution is fast becoming as harmful to Americans' health as outdoor air pollution. This is because folks are exposed to many toxins in their home, like cleaning supplies, paint, fumes and smoke from cooking and candles. Think about it -- all of these things seep into the indoor air.

More than that, if you never air out your place by opening up the windows to let in the fresh air or use an air purifier, your indoor air might be as polluted or even more polluted than the air outdoors.

The furnace, when it forces hot or cold air into your home, will make the air pass through a filter first. But if this filter is filled with debris or dust, you will notice that the air quality in your home will get worse and worse over time.

This lack of fresh air will become quite noticeable after some time, at which point you will want to check your furnace air filter and see how dirty it is. And change it as soon as possible.

It's not healthy for you or your loved ones to be breathing in such polluted air day in and day out. Especially if you have someone in your family with a compromised immune system or respiratory problems like asthma or allergies.

2. Hard To Keep Your Home Warm

When your furnace filter is clogged up, this results in the following scenario.

  • The airflow in your home will be negatively affected
  • This lack of fresh air will cause the heat exchanger to become too warm
  • Deactivation of the heat exchanger might follow
  • This causes short-cycling issues
  • Finally, your furnace will find it hard to keep your home warm

What are short-cycling issues? This is when the HVAC system will shut down and restart too often without any particular reason for it. Or the furnace will turn off before it reaches the desired temperature (whatever you've set it at). There are many reasons for this, but one reason could be a dirty furnace filter.

All in all, a clogged air filter makes your furnace's job very hard indeed. It's similar to when you put a speed governor on a car; it puts a hard limit on your furnace.

3. Higher-than-Normal Utility Bills

You probably have a very good idea of what your average utility bill is like throughout the year. There might be an upsurge during the wintertime or a particularly cold winter.

But if you notice that your utility bills have gone up all of a sudden without any particular reason for it, then go check your furnace filter.

Since your furnace has to work harder when it has a dirty filter, you will notice that it will use more electricity to do so, which translates into a higher utility bill.

No homeowner wants to be the recipient of a higher-than-normal utility bill. You are probably trying to make the opposite happen.

That's why it's so important not to ignore any strange increases in your utility bill. It's a clear sign from your furnace, saying 'HELP'.

Dirty Filter - Some Things To Know

If you are thinking that you will just let your furnace function without a filter for a while if it's clogged up and you don't have time to grab a new one, think again! Even though your furnace can function without a filter, this doesn't mean that it's safe for your family's health for you to do so.

Either shut down the furnace while you go buy a new filter or leave the dirty filter inside while you do so. Don't remove it and let the furnace run without a filter.

Also, don't be intimidated by the process of changing the furnace air filter. Furnace manufacturers make it quite easy for homeowners to change the filter. You don't need any fancy tools to do so either.

If you wish to feel particularly proud of yourself as a homeowner, then changing the furnace filter is one of the easiest home maintenance tasks to tackle. Make sure to turn off the furnace before changing the filter.

Read the manual you received from your furnace manufacturer on how to change the filter. Always keep extra furnace filters on hand, so you never have to delay changing a dirty filter because you don't have a new one on hand.

Not sure if your furnace is acting up because of a dirty filter or because of some other reason? Or unsure of how often to change your filter? Contact an HVAC repair company and get them to check it out for you.

Your Furnace Air Filter Is a Silent Hero

There are many unsung heroes in your home - items that you don't think twice about, but that end up playing an important role in keeping your family safe and sound. Well, a furnace air filter is one of those silent heroes that you should be paying more attention to.

If you are sick and tired of running out of air filters at random times, then sign up with our air filter delivery service.

Get a furnace air filter subscription and have them delivered directly to your door! Choose your filter type and set your delivery schedule. It's as easy as that.

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