You may realize the importance of regular furnace maintenance and inspections in order to further its life span and give you the reliable performance you’ve come to expect. You may even know that you have to replace some parts and give your furnace some TLC over the years to prevent total failure. But what you may not realize is that your furnace filter could be doing the most damage of all to your unit.
That’s because you may not be changing it as often as you should. On average, most filter manufacturers recommend replacing the filter every three months. Sometimes you can get away with longer (up to six months) depending on MERV, type and brand; sometimes you have to change them even more frequently (once every month or two) if you have a lot of pets or people with allergies and asthma in the home. But generally, every few months should do the trick.
Research shows that Canadian homeowners typically leave their furnace filters in for at least a month past the recommended date. While this short infringement may not seem like a big deal, over time, and as those time periods stretch longer and longer, real damage can start taking place to your furnace unit.
When a filter gets dirty, it causes problems for the furnace unit it's in. Of course, filters are designed to get dirty – that means they’re doing their job! But much like an oil change in your car, at some point, that oil needs to be changed or the car won’t function as well – if at all. Clogged and dirty filters can cause the following problems:
- Restrict air flow, which makes the air handler work harder than it should. When this happens, the unit will overheat and then shut down for safety reasons.
- Allow dirt to get through the filter material, which can then coat the blower wheel and motor. Overheating can again result.
- Result in a dirty ignitor, which can short out.
- Cause your unit to cycle on and off too frequently, which leads to shut down so the unit won’t overheat.
- Use more energy to achieve the same level of comfort, leading to higher energy bills for your home.
Furnace failure never seems to wait for regular business hours. Can you afford to call a technician in the middle of the night or on a weekend when your furnace quits working? Especially now, with such low temperatures happening as we speak, you don’t want to be caught without heat, even for one night. This is uncomfortable, not to mention downright dangerous, especially with children and the elderly.
Plus, you’ll spend a lot of money on emergency calls when you could have avoided all that in the first place just through one simple task. Changing your filters can save you from shelling out cash in unnecessary repairs, as well as prevent the need for premature furnace replacement.
We understand a major part of the reason you may neglect your filters is because you don’t have a reliable place to get them. Forget Home Depot. They never seem to have what you need in stock. Buy them online with us for FREE shipping and no-hassle returns!