The furnace at your home regulates the indoor temperatures, ensuring that your home has optimal comfort, especially during the cold season. It does this by heating or warming the incoming air and distributing it to different parts of your Azle, TX, home via air ducts. The air also is cleaned as it passes through filters to remove particles and contaminants.
This begs the question; how often should furnace air filters be replaced? The service life of an air filter is between 1-6 months. However, this depends on your home’s heating schedule and the type of air filter that you are using. Failing to change the filters regularly will harm the service life of your heating issues. It also might cause severe issues that could need the attention of a heating and AC repair technician.
But what happens when the dirty air filter remains in the furnace without a replacement? Whenever the filter is clogged by debris, mold spores, allergens, and other forms of dirt, it induces strain on the furnace. Remember, your furnace depends on proper airflow. It creates warm air and has to be pumped to different rooms in your house. This stress can eventually break some heating system parts, resulting in expensive repairs. But how can you know that the furnace filters are clogged?
Surefire Signs That the Furnace Filters Are Clogged
Increased Energy Consumption
The first telltale sign that your furnace filters are clogged is an increase in your heating utility bills. When the furnace filters are clogged, the heating unit will strain more to heat your home and reach the temperatures you’ve set on the thermostat. The furnace fans will also have to put in an extra effort since the air cannot flow or get distributed quickly throughout your home. This limits the furnace’s efficiency, resulting in more energy consumption. Hence, once you notice that the energy consumption by your furnace has suddenly gone over the roof, call a heating and AC repair technician for a further inspection.
Poor or Uneven Heating
The heated air cannot seamlessly flow or distribute via the air ducts whenever the air filters have a blockage. Even the best air filters can get clogged because of the very nature of their function. The damages occasioned by clogged air filters will make it hard to evenly and sufficiently heat the indoor settings. Hence, some rooms will be heated better than others or even not heated. Professional heating and AC repair technician in Azle, TX, recommends regularly changing the furnace air filters to even heating your home.
Short On/Off Cycles
If the furnace air filters are dirty, they can result in a buildup of excessive heat within the heat exchanger. After reaching the thermostat, set indoor temperatures, and the furnace should automatically shut off. Once your indoor space cools to certain temperatures, the furnace should automatically turn back on. However, if the air circulation from the furnace is poor because of dirty air filters, you might experience short heating cycles. This can negatively affect the service life of your furnace. To avert a situation where you will be forced to call a heating and AC repair service to replace the furnace prematurely, ensure that the air filters are always clean.
Failed “White Sheet” Test
A white bedsheet is hung a couple of inches from the heating vents in a white sheet test. As heated air is blown through the vents onto the bed sheet, it blows all the debris and dirt within the system. This means the sheet will turn gray, brown, or even black if there’s any dirt within the system. If this happens, then it means that the air filter may be dirty as well. Hence, have a heating and AC repair technician come over for a duct cleaning and filter replacement service.
Thermostat Requires Frequent Adjustment
Do you have to adjust your thermostat more frequently because it is too hot or cold? That is a sign that the air filter may be clogged. Whenever the air filters are blocked by debris and dirt, they cannot efficiently distribute the air indoors. This results in system overheating or a cooler home. Whenever this happens, you might even call a heating and AC repair technician in Azle, TX, only to find that a clogged air filter was the reason for it.
When was the last time you turned on your furnace? If it has sat unused for a long time, it might produce a burning smell when you finally turn it on. But if you have noticed this burning smell all over your home, you might be dealing with clogged air filters. Besides cooling your home, the furnace also needs enough airflow to prevent overheating. If the furnace overheats regularly, that might reduce its lifespan, and you might even have to replace it prematurely.
Clogged filters mean that the system cannot pull in enough air. This results in a constant burning smell. However, a burning smell can be caused by burning elements in your furnace. Hence, have a heating and AC repair technician inspect the unit to determine the root cause of the smell and take the necessary steps to resolve it.
Accumulation of Dust
The other sign that your furnace’s air filters are clogged is the accumulation of dust on your curtains, upholstery, and furniture. Besides polluting the indoor air, clogged air filters can also result in debris and dust influx into your living space, especially near the vents. Have you noticed that you spend more time vacuuming and cleaning, especially during winter? That might mean that the furnace filters are dirty and need the attention of a heating and AC repair technician in Azle, TX.
Furnace Problems Caused By Clogged Air Filters
Poor Air Quality
Perhaps this is the most common or telling effect of clogged air filters. Although it isn’t too much of a furnace issue, it is still a critical one. If the furnace filters are clogged, they will not filter the air properly. Rather, they’ll release the debris into the air ducts and vents before releasing it throughout your indoor space.
Call a heating and AC repair technician for a duct cleaning service if your indoor air quality is lower. However, it is recommended that you retain their services for routine maintenance. The heating and AC repair technician can also replace the air filters during the service visit.
Dirty Furnace Burners
The air filters are supposed to remove dirt, debris, allergens, and other contaminants from the air before letting them enter the furnace. If it doesn’t work or function properly, the debris may collect on the furnace burners. This may considerably undermine the burner’s ability to use the fuel efficiently. Hence, the furnace will use more fuel than usual to cool your home. Eventually, the dirty furnace burners might even stop working, prompting you to call a heating and AC repair technician for a further inspection or repair.
Whenever the air filter restricts the airflow into the furnace for heating, it will effectively get the heat it generates to heat the rest of your indoor space. Rather, the heat will stay around the furnace since there isn’t enough air to carry it to other parts of your home.
The accumulation of heat can result in the overheating of the furnace, triggering the safety shutoff. The furnace will not turn on whenever this happens until all the heat dissipates. After this, the same problem will arise again. Hence, you’ll need the assistance of a heating and AC repair technician to replace the filters and also reset the furnace.
Damaged Blower Motor
A blower motor runs the fan within the furnace. This fan is supposed to disperse heat all through your home. But if the blocked air filters exert a lot of pressure on the component by not allowing enough airflow, the blower motor may be damaged. This effectively means it won’t be able to spread the heat throughout your Azle, TX, home evenly.
At worst, the blower motor might stop working altogether, prompting you to call a licensed heating and AC repair technician for further inspection. Remember, your home will not be heated if the blower motor isn’t running.
Cracked Heat Exchanger
If the furnace air filters are clogged, they will negatively impact the flow of air into various parts of your house and the heating system. The lack of enough cold or fresh air in the furnace will eventually result in the heat exchanger overheating and shutting down. The buildup of heat can also stress out the heat exchanger, which may then crack. Unfortunately, this is among the costliest repairs that your furnace might require.
If the heat exchanger is cracked, it might make more economic sense to have a heating and AC repair technician replace the unit rather than fixing the exchanger. This is because a repair will cost you a fortune, similar to purchasing a new unit.
As aforementioned, when the furnace air filters are dirty, they will make the blower fans strain to ensure that air is flowing all over your home and air conditioning system. When the air filters are clogged with debris, dust, pet dander, hair, and other contaminants, it becomes difficult for the fan to heat your indoor spaces to the desired temperatures during the winter heating season.
Because of the reduced airflow, uneven cooling will arise, with some spots of your home being cold or hot. It also could make the furnace blower motor fail, necessitating expensive heating and AC repair technician repair. So, why wait for the expensive repair to come your way while you could have just replaced the furnace and it doesn’t cost much?
High Heating Bills
All over this article, you’ve learned that a dirty air filter will make the furnace strain to heat your indoor space effectively. Unfortunately, the strain will make the furnace consume more energy. The furnace uses a blower fan to circulate the conditioned air to other parts of your home and maintain the thermostat-programmed temperature.
The more energy the furnace uses to heat the air and run the blower fan means you will get a higher energy utility bill come the end of the month. Therefore, replacing the furnace fan directly affects your bank balance. Hence, regularly replace them and have a heating and AC repair technician clean the air ducts to ensure that air can seamlessly flow into various rooms of your home.
Eventually, the clogged air filters will make the furnace break down. As explained above, a dirty filter will make the furnace strain to heat your home. The increased stress exposes the furnace to failure, wear and tear. This is particularly common during the winter days when your furnace needs to overcompensate for it to maintain a comfortable temperature at your Azle, TX, home.
The air blower may malfunction entirely if it strains too much. This might result in furnace failure, something that is particularly costly to repair. Compared to expensive furnace repairs, changing the air filters certainly seems economical. This is on top of hiring experienced heating and AC repair technicians to conduct the repair. An overworked furnace tends to exhibit signs of wear and tear. However, failure caused by a clogged air filter is easily avoidable. Even the highest quality air filters get clogged or dirty. Hence, regular filter replacement is something that you should do without fail.
Furnace Problems? Call Us
If a clogged filter has resulted in either of the furnace issues above, you should have a heating and AC repair professional come over for an inspection. Have you noticed either of the signs above on your furnace? Contact our able professionals at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth for reliable furnace repair. Our heating and AC repair technicians will promptly resolve your furnace issue to ensure that your Azle, TX, home is properly cooled during those chilly winter months.