No matter what time of the year it is, a dirty air filter can cause major problems with your heating and cooling system. In fact, one of the top reasons we visit homes for furnace and air conditioner repairs is because a system has been running with a clogged filter. We want to stress the importance of changing your filter during the upcoming winter months, so today we're going to talk about some of the most common furnace problems that can develop if you run your system with a dirty filter!
Furnace problems caused by a dirty filter
- Cold house. When you have a clogged filter, your furnace will not be able to push an adequate amount of air past the filter. This means that there will be less warm air being distributed throughout your home, which will make it very difficult to keep your home warm.
- High heating bills. Heating bills can get pretty high during the winter months, and adding any extra stress to your furnace will raise them that much higher. Because your furnace's blower has to work a lot harder and longer when your filter is clogged, your system will consume much more energy than it would if it were running with a clean filter.
- Furnace breakdowns. Another problem with overworking your furnace is that parts can overheat and cause your system to break down. Since your furnace works the hardest when it's cold outside, breakdowns typically happen when it's freezing and you need your furnace the most. Don't be left in the cold - check or change your filter every month!
- Dirty burners. When your filter is clogged, it will not be able to effectively remove dirt and other particles from the air that's cycled through your furnace. This can allow dirt to build up on your furnace's burners, which can be a safety hazard and cause your system to operate inefficiently.
- Cracked heat exchangers. One of the biggest problems with running your furnace with a dirty filter is that it can cause your heat exchanger to crack. Your furnace heats air by blowing it over a heat exchanger. If your filter is clogged, there won't be enough air to blow over the heat exchanger, so that extra heat will build up inside the exchanger itself. The stress that this overheating puts on your heat exchanger can cause it to crack. Your heat exchanger can also crack over time due to repeated expanding and contracting during every heating cycle. When your heat exchanger is cracked, it has the potential of allowing carbon monoxide to leak into your home's air.
If you have any questions about the problems you can encounter with your furnace if you have a dirty filter, or if you'd like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Charles, MO, furnace installation and repair company. We provide service all over the St. Louis area, including towns like Maryland Heights, O’Fallon and St. Paul, MO.
photo credit: MBK (Marjie) via photopin cc