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Late Winter Can Mean a Clogged Furnace Filter Creating Trouble

air-fliter-cuAsk any HVAC contractor who knows what they’re doing, and they’ll tell you the piece of advice they give out the most often to homeowners who want to improve their heating or lower their heating bills is Change. The. Filter. Regularly. And we will gladly beat that drum as well, because leaving the filter in place until it becomes thickly clogged creates plenty of problems.

The filter on your furnace stops debris flowing through the return air vents from getting inside the furnace. If you haven’t changed the filter this winter, now in late winter is when you’ll start paying for it—literally! Here’s how keeping a clogged filter around at the close of winter can cause furnace problems.

Paying for It

It costs more to heat a home when the filter is clogged. It’s that simple. It may not seem like a congested filter could make that much of a difference, but it does. The HVAC blower fan has to pull the air for the furnace to heat through the filter. A clogged filter is like a blower fan with a plugged-up nose. It takes more effort to breathe with a stuffy nose, so it takes more energy for the blower fan to draw air through a clogged filter.

Tripping Circuit Breakers

The furnace suddenly shuts down during the day. The blower fan won’t come on, the burners won’t light—nothing. You find out the problem is a tripped circuit breaker. Seems easy to fix—just reset the switch. That does work in many cases. But if the reason the breaker tripped in the first place was a clogged filter caused the blower fan to overheat, the breaker will soon trip again. This is a good warning sign to change the filter.

Heating Unevenly

If the blower fan is having a hard time pulling air into the furnace, it’s also going to struggle to send the air out into the ventilation system. The air pressure in the ducts will drop, and rooms around the house won’t receive the level of heating they normally get. When people in your household start to complain that their rooms are too cold, check on the air filter first.

Wearing Down Rapidly

All the extra strain the clogged filter puts on a furnace’s components means an acceleration of wear and tear on the system. The furnace will have more repair problems and may need to be replaced a few years early if you keep letting the filters clog up.

Breaking Down

This is an extreme case, but it happens—and it’s a good warning about how bad a clogged filter can become. Pleated filters are popular because they have more surface area and can last for longer before needing to be replaced. But pleated filters may also collapse if they’re too clogged because of how much is on them. If a filter collapses, it will go right into the blower fan and, pow!, the system will break down and require expensive repairs.

We can always help you with your Cary, NC heating services if you have furnace trouble, no matter the source.

Call for comfort from our family to yours! Comfort Master Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. provides quality heating service throughout the Triangle Area of North Carolina.

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