Keeping Your AC System Cleaner

Can Changing the Furnace Filter Prevent Furnace Repairs?

by Yolanda White

You may be diligent about having your furnace serviced and the filter changed before winter arrives, but as you look forward to spring, changing the furnace filter could be the last thing on your mind. Here's why the simple step of changing the furnace filter regularly during the winter can help prevent a breakdown and the need for furnace repairs.

How Often To Change the Filter

Check your owner's manual for advice on how often to change the filter in your furnace. The frequency depends on the type of filter you use and the conditions in your house. It's not a bad idea to at least check the filter monthly by holding it against the light to look for dust. If the filter is dusty, change it out.

How a Clogged Filter Leads to Furnace Damage

The purpose of a furnace filter is to protect your furnace from dust. When the filter is all dusty, dust particles get sucked into the furnace. Then, dust builds up on the blower fan and motor. Dust is harmful to the insides of your furnace, and when the parts are dirty, they don't work as efficiently. When your furnace works too hard, it can overheat and shut down to protect itself. If your furnace is having trouble keeping your house warm, check the filter first. If the filter is clogged, that might be the cause of your trouble and you can fix it quickly by putting in a new filter.

What Furnace Repairs Could Be Needed

At the least, the furnace repair technician will need to clean the furnace. This could entail removing the blower and cleaning the cage and motor. However, if the affected parts were damaged because of overworking, the technician may have to repair the motor or replace it. While a furnace blower can go bad for multiple reasons, it's unfortunate when it happens due to a dusty filter, because that situation can be prevented by changing the furnace filter on time.

Your furnace relies on airflow at a certain rate to function properly. When airflow is restricted, your furnace overheats and parts of the furnace can get damaged. In addition, overheating causes your furnace to shut off too soon, so your home doesn't get warm enough. This process can lead to higher energy bills because your furnace turns off and on so much while still leaving your house too cold.

A dirty filter not only leads to higher energy bills, but it can also lead to the need for costly parts replacement and repairs. In addition, if your furnace has to struggle all the time, its lifespan could be shortened and that means you'll need to buy a new HVAC sooner than expected. Know whether you need maintenance, repairs, or a replacement by contacting a furnace maintenance and repair service.