The Health Hazards of Dirty Furnace Filters

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A HVAC system is one of the most important parts of the air quality in your home. Your system will have an air filter that helps to keep the air quality in your home at good levels. If you have a dirty furnace filter, it will cause many different changes in your home, including poor air quality. To ensure that you have clean air, you should change out your furnace filters every three months. More often, if you are using cheaper air filters or you have a lot of pets or people coming in and out of your home.

What Causes an Air Filter To Get Dirty?

Several things can get clogged inside of your air filter, and these include:

  • Pollen
  • Dirt
  • Dust
  • Pet hair
  • Pet dander
  • Smoke
  • Bacteria
  • Mold spores
  • Viruses

The longer you go without changing your air filter, the more these things will build up and will compromise not only your air quality but your HVAC system as well.

The Dangers of Dirty Air Filters

The first danger of a clogged furnace filter is that the airflow will be blocked by dust and debris. The air will then get pushed along the filter, and those particles will get into the air you breathe. When you have poor air quality in your home, you and the residents in it may experience eye discomfort, congestion, and headaches. You will want to make sure that you change your air filters frequently to avoid this issue.

Another risk of having dirty air filters is that they can cause a fire in your duct system or your furnace. When the air can no longer pass through, it can suck some of the debris out, posing a severe fire risk that can damage your HVAC system and your home.

Your blower motor works to circulate the air throughout your house. When you have a dirty air filter, the blower fan will get dirty. Once your blower fan becomes dirty, it will cause the blower to have issues functioning. It can even lead to the blower motor from stopping altogether.

One thing that you do not want to see is a higher energy bill. If you do not clean your air filters regularly, you will see an increase in your energy bills each month. When the unit becomes clogged, it will cause the unit to work harder, pulling in more power. If you see a higher-than-normal power bill, the first thing that you should check should be your air filter.

On top of everything else, you may need more repairs simply because you did not keep your air filters clean. A huge part of HVAC maintenance is keeping those filters clean, so the system does not have to work as hard. To avoid expensive repairs, clean your filter regularly. If you are unsure whether or not you need to replace the filter, take it out and inspect it. If it looks dirty, replace, or wash it immediately. Even if you replace your filter early, you will not hurt your HVAC system and will help to improve the air quality of your home.

What Is the Best Type of Air Filter To Use?

When you go out to purchase an air filter for your HVAC system, you will want to get a filter that is the correct one for the model that you have. Getting too small or too big of a filter will ensure that it does not work properly. For example, too small of a filter will allow air to get around the filter and into your air. Too big of a filter, and it will not fit around your HVAC system. If you are unsure of the type of filter you should get for your system, you can always speak to a local HVAC professional who can help you to get the best filter possible. They can also give you recommendations on whether you should be using a disposable or washable filter.

Taking care of the filter that goes with your HVAC system will help to ensure that you do not have any air quality problems and that your system lasts for many years to come. Remember that proper maintenance will help to save you money on energy bills, repair bills, and will ensure that your HVAC unit is working as it should.

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