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Residential Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

Do You Often Forget to Change the Furnace Filter? Here’s Why It’s a Super Important Job!


You need to change the furnace filter regularly during the winter, every 1-3 months depending on the strength of the filter. This is an important job but people often forget to do it in the middle of a busy season when they’ve got so much else occupying their minds. We wrote this post because we want you to know why changing the filter is extremely important—and maybe we’ll help you remember it in the future.

Why your furnace needs a clean filter

What’s the big deal about a dirty filter? The simple reason is that a clogged filter makes it harder for the furnace to draw sufficient air through the return air ducts. It’s like giving the furnace a bad cold with a stuffy nose that makes it hard to breathe. 

A clogged filter will lead to numerous problems:

  • High energy costs: A furnace must work harder when it’s struggling to pull air through a dirty filter, and this will cause energy bills to rise. 
  • Overheating: Because less air comes into the furnace when the filter is clogged, there may not be enough to cool down the heat exchanger during the heating cycle. When the heat exchanger gets too hot, it triggers a limit switch that shuts down the furnace. 
  • Tripped circuit breakers: The extra burden placed on the blower motor as it draws air through a clogged furnace can lead to it overheating and tripping the breaker for the furnace, causing the whole system to turn off.
  • Uneven heating: When not as much air is getting into the furnace, some places in the house will receive reduced warm air. The furnace won’t be able to effectively heat the whole house.
  • Dust and debris infiltration: The filter can’t do its job of preventing dust and other debris from getting into the furnace if it’s dirty. The filter will distort and stretch from the air pressure, opening gaps along the side and letting in contaminants. This will cause significant damage to the furnace’s components.
  • Collapsed filter: In extreme cases, a clogged filter may collapse from all the air pressure, causing it to fall into the blower assembly and cause significant damage.

A tip to help you remember

We understand that even with this knowledge, you may still forget to have the filter changed on whatever schedule it needs to be done. Here’s our advice for how to remember: connect changing the filter with getting your regular heating bill. Each time you look over your most recent statement from the power company about your gas/electric use, use that as a reminder to go look at the filter to see if it’s ready to be swapped out. 

We also recommend that you write the date you put in a new filter in black marker on the filter’s edge. That way you know how long has passed since the last time the filter was swapped out.

The professional furnace help you need

When you have trouble with your furnace that a simple filter change won’t correct, you’ll need to talk to the best pros when it comes to furnaces in Minneapolis, MN—us! We have more than 30 years of history helping keep people warm in the Twin Cities with effective, efficient, and safe furnaces.

Rely on Residential Heating and Air Conditioning and you’ll “Feel the Difference”! Serving The Twin Cities Since 1991. 

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