Furnaces have long ranked among the most popular of all home heating systems, and they are not likely to be unseated from the throne any time soon. They are highly effective, provide prompt heating throughout the house via their use of ductwork, and modern models are quite efficient. At least, this is all true when the furnace is in the best working condition possible. Scheduling routine maintenance can help to ensure that this is the case.
However, there is also one important step that you must take on your own if you really want to get the most from your furnace. That is to change your air filter as needed. Typically, this is every one to three months, though we suggest that you err on the side of caution and do it on the more frequent side of that range. Yes, your technician will change the filter during your tune-up, but once a year is not enough. A fresh filter can help to stave off furnace repair in Ankeny, IA.
Why a Dirty Filter Is a Big Problem
The harder something is to do, the more energy it takes to do it. This is true for man and machine alike—and, we’d assume, some sort of cyborg entity, though that’s not something we really need to think about. Yet.
Basically, the problem with a dirty air filter is that it makes it harder for your furnace to force heated air throughout your home. That’s obviously a big issue, being as that the furnace is a forced air heater and all. How big of a problem can this increased airflow resistance caused by a dirty air filter really be, though? Well, consider the following symptoms, and you’ll get a pretty clear picture of why you really want to keep your filter fresh!
- Reduced energy efficiency. The efficiency with which your furnace heats your home is going to be one of the first casualties when its filter gets too dirty. This is just as simple as outlined above. It is harder for the furnace to force air through the filter when the filter is dirty, so it uses more energy in doing so. That drives up your heating costs.
- Increased risk of damages. Your heater is not just going to suffer in terms of efficiency when its filter is too dirty. You’re actually putting it at risk of damage. The system may begin to short cycle as it overheats from overexertion. Not only will this starting and stopping really start to decimate overall energy efficiency, but the strain that it puts on the system will also make a breakdown more likely—and that is likely to happen just when you need your furnace the most!
- Reduced performance quality. Paying too much to heat your home is frustrating enough. It is even more frustrating, though, when you are paying more for a lesser performance! You deserve a lot better than that, and all you need to do is change that filter to get it! It’ll be some of the best few dollars you’ll ever spend.