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Can a Dirty Air Filter Damage Your Heater?


Neglecting to replace or clean your air filter every 1 to 3 months will create problems. While it won’t directly damage your heater, there are absolutely consequences to not changing the air filter on this routine basis, which we’ll cover below.

We are happy to help when customers call us for heating repair in Roseville, CA. But we are happier if we can help our customers prevent a need for a repair call. Consider this your reminder to take action if you are overdue on cleaning or replacing your air filter, and read on!

Why Is an Air Filter Important to My Heating System?

The role of the air filter is to protect your furnace. Our air is naturally filthy. We can’t see it but there are tiny particles floating around us at all times. This dust gets sucked into our furnace system through the vents on our ductwork. All this dust could really muck up the inner workings of our furnaces but the air filter stands on guard keeping it out.

The air filter traps dust and debris but the air still needs to flow through it to operate the furnace. Over time dust and debris can turn your air filter into a wall that stops air from flowing. If you can’t see through your air filter it is time to clean or replace it.

Consequences of a Dirty Air Filter

A clogged air filter requires the furnace, specifically the blower, to work harder to push air through. A hard-working furnace is an inefficient furnace. An inefficient furnace uses more power. More power use results in higher bills from your utility company. 

Clogged air filters result in weak airflow throughout your ductwork. Rooms farthest from your furnace will be colder than you desire. The air does not have enough force to travel the distance. Your home becomes unevenly heated and uncomfortable for the residents of the household. If you are wearing more layers than usual then it is time to check your filter.

When rooms are unevenly heated your thermostats will trigger the furnace to correct the problem. You may notice your furnace starts to short-cycle. It may come on for shorter periods of time but more frequently. A short-cycling furnace has a heat exchanger that is working excessively to heat up the air to try to correct the lack of heat in the home. Your exchanger may develop a crack from all the expanding and contracting from the heating and cooling cycles. Belts and motors will incur more wear and tear, which will lead to unwanted repair costs.

The air quality of your home will decrease. When the air filter runs out of room to trap dust the dust continues to circulate through your furnace back into your home. You will breathe easier by keeping your air filter clean.

If your air filter is clean and you are still experiencing problems then it is time to call in a professional!

Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort, Inc. is your trusted resource for heating repair in Roseville, CA. Contact us today, and look for “The Guys in the Big Red Trucks!”

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