Is a Dirty Air Filter Hindering the Performance of Your Furnace?

Dirty air filterOf all the things that homeowners can do to keep their furnaces running smoothly and efficiently, the most important one is checking and changing air filters on a regular basis.

A dirty air filter is one of the biggest threats to the performance of your furnace, but it’s also one of the easiest to fix.

Why does your air filter get dirty?

The purpose of a basic furnace filter is to protect your system from dirt and debris that could affect the performance of your system. Some more advanced filters are used to stop airborne particles like dust and other unhealthy microscopic particles from being distributed into your home’s air. It’s natural that all of that material will build up on your filter over time.

How does a dirty air filter affect your furnace?

When your filter gets too dirty, it begins to take a toll on the performance of your furnace. Unclean air is redirected to other parts of your unit because it is not able to pass through your filter. This can lead to unnecessary repairs due to build up and damage to different parts of your furnace.

How does a dirty air filter affect your energy bill?

When air is unable to easily pass through your filter, your furnace has to work extra hard to make up for the loss of air flow. As a result, your unit uses more energy and your utility bills begin to grow.

How can you avoid a dirty air filter?

It’s very easy to avoid the consequences of a dirty air filter. Check the condition of your filter at least once a month, especially during the times of the year that you’re using your furnace the most. One simple test is to hold your filter up to a light and see if light is able to pass through. If not, it’s time to clean or change your filter, depending on the type that is installed in your unit.

If you have any questions about dirty air filters, or would like to have your furnace inspected by a trained professional, contact Cabrillo, your San Francisco plumbing heating and cooling company. We service the San Francisco area and surrounding cities like San Mateo, Palo Alto, Orinda, Lafayette and Walnut Creek.

Photo credit: Steven Vance

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