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HVAC FAQ: Does My Furnace Need a New Filter?

filter-close-upYou hire—or, at least, we hope you hire—professional HVAC technicians to tune your furnace up on an annual basis. If you don’t, then you are doing yourself a serious disservice and you are really setting your system up for failure. That’s really a topic for another time, though, because today we are not focusing on the many benefits of professional heating maintenance. Instead, we are going to focus on the single most important maintenance task you can handle on your own.

That is changing the air filter in your furnace. If you fail to take this simple step, then, again, you are doing yourself a serious disservice. The last thing that you want to do is to put your furnace and its overall performance quality at risk, just because you lapsed in your filter changes. Is it really that big of a deal, though? Our Acworth, GA HVAC pros are here to tell you that it is. We’re also here to tell you why that is.

It Affects Efficiency, Air Quality, and Performance

Doesn’t sound like too good of a deal, does it? If you are serious about getting the best from your furnace, then consider a dirty air filter public enemy #1. What’s the big deal?

  • Efficiency. Your furnace is a forced air heater. That means it has to force heated air throughout your home via a system of ductwork. That heated air must pass through the air filter. See where this is going? If your air filter is very dirty, then the system is going to have to work harder than it should in order to force air through it. That, in turn, results in higher than usual—and unnecessary—heating costs.
  • Air quality. There is a misconception that the air filter in the furnace is there in order to boost indoor air quality around the house. This isn’t exactly the case, however. These standard filters are of a relatively low efficiency, and they are there to protect the HVAC equipment itself, not to boost indoor air quality. That being said, if your filter is very dirty, air may be forced around it, cutting out filtration and resulting in reduced indoor air quality.
  • Performance. Is your heater starting up, running only briefly, and the cycling back down? If so, it is short cycling. Why? Potentially because of a dirty air filter in the system. How? Because the system is overheating. When your furnace overheats, it is then going to shut itself down in order to prevent damages to the system. It’s essentially just trying to protect itself, but that means severely reducing its overall performance quality.

You need to schedule routine heating maintenance yearly. Your air filter is going to need to be changed somewhere in the 1 to 3 month range, though. Clearly, you cannot just wait for your annual tune-up to have it done. Do it yourself, and know that you are helping your furnace to excel in its operation.

Schedule your furnace services with Moody Heating and Air Conditioning.

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