A furnace can stop working for a number of different reasons, and one of these reasons is from a dirty furnace filter. While you might know that your furnace filter needs to be changed periodically, you may not realize just how important this simple task is. Changing your furnace filter often can prevent furnace outages, and it can help you save money on your energy bills and extend the life of your furnace. Here are several things you should know about furnace filters.
The Role Of Furnace Filters
The filter in your furnace is designed primarily to protect your furnace and its components from dust and debris. When your furnace is running, it pulls air through return air ducts located in the rooms of your house. This air is then forced through the furnace filter and into the furnace where it is heated. Once heated, the air is sent through air ducts into your home through register vents.
As this process is occurring, the air collects dirt, hair, pollutants, and other types of gunk. All of these things can destroy the components of a furnace system, which is why all furnaces have filters. The filter in your system is designed to remove all these things before the air reaches the location where it is heated.
The purpose of this is to keep the components in your furnace clean. After a furnace filter is used for days, weeks, or months, it tends to get dirty. When it is dirty, it cannot do its job, and this could cause problems with your furnace system.
Problems Caused By Dirty Furnace Filters
According to The Family Handyman, the number one cause of furnace problems is dirty furnace filters. When a filter is dirty, it will prevent your system from allowing air to flow as it should. A dirty filter will also allow dirt to pass through and into your system. This dirt can stop your furnace from making heat, and it can put a lot of stress on the parts of your furnace.
If you continue operating your system with a dirty furnace filter, your furnace may end up wearing out prematurely. You may also experience problems heating your house, and your energy bills are likely to go up.
How To Prevent Problems With Furnace Filters
If you want to prevent problems with your furnace, you should get in the habit of changing your furnace filters often. According to Energy Star, the best thing to do is check your furnace filter monthly. If it looks dirty, replace it. If it is not dirty yet, you could wait until the next month to replace it. Your filter will get dirtier during periods of extreme temperatures, simply because your furnace will run more often.
When the time comes to change your filter, you may want to replace it with a good-quality filter. Furnace filters come with MERV ratings, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. MERV ratings tell you how efficient a furnace filter is at pulling debris out of the air, and the ratings range from 1 to 16.
Some people believe higher ratings are better, but this is not necessarily the case. As a rating goes up, the filter's ability to allow air to flow through decreases. Therefore, a rating of 16 may stop debris from getting through, but it may also reduce the airflow needed by your furnace. Choosing a filter that has a MERV rating between 7 to 12 is typically sufficient and effective.
If you are experiencing problems with your furnace, it might be due to a dirty furnace filter. To learn more, contact a company that offers furnace repairs in your area.