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Furnace Filters 101

Most homeowners know that there is a filter in their home’s furnace and that it should be replaced every once in a while. But that is not all there is to furnace filters. Nor does it show an understanding of the value of this small yet affordable item. With a cost of just a few dollars, this one item can bring the function of your furnace to a halt and substantially shorten the length of its life. So it is time to learn more about furnace filters, their purpose, and their value.

Can You Run Your Furnace Without A Filter?

Technically, yes, you can turn on your furnace with no filter in place. But by doing so, you are substantially shortening the unit’s life and posing a risk to your health. The furnace will continue to function without the filter in place for more than just a few days. But it is a very costly experiment that will end poorly for you and your furnace.

The Results Of No Furnace Filter

Even running your furnace for a few days with no filter will be detrimental. Some of the most common issues you will quickly notice include:

  • Poor air quality in your home. Without an air filter in the furnace, it will be circulating dust and dirt particles in the air that can cause allergies, asthma, and other breathing issues for you, your family members, and even your pets.
  • Your furnace is very likely to malfunction due to the dust and dirt build-up on critical components. The filter keeps the delicate parts inside the unit free of dust and dirt particles that cause damage. When you allow that dirt to build up, you are sure to be facing costly repairs.
  • An additional hazard of dust build-up is the increased potential for a fire. And if the dust becomes moist, it can also lead to mold and mildew issues.

Will A Furnace Operate With A Dirty Filter?

Only a filthy filter will completely stop the function of your furnace. Once the furnace can no longer draw air through the filter, a fail-safe feature will prevent the furnace from operating until the filter is replaced. And the unit is reset. But it is essential to know that while the furnace is operating, it is not functioning correctly when drawing air through a dirty filter. Some of the issues you will notice include:

  • Inadequate airflow to a furnace will result in poor heating and uneven heating throughout your home. The dust on the filter will decrease the airflow, and rooms further from the furnace will be noticeably colder than rooms near the furnace.
  • With the restricted airflow through the dirty air filter, your furnace will need to work harder to move the heated air. The result will quickly be noticeable in the form of increased utility bills. And even with the increase in operating cost, you will find that your home is getting less and less comfortable.
  • Unhealthy air is a serious concern. As more dust and dirt are circulated through the air in your home, you could find that you are suffering multiple breathing issues. And in addition to dust, germs will continue to float through the air you breathe, resulting in more respiratory problems and allergic reactions.

Knowing all of the crucial benefits of a clean air filter in your furnace, you are probably inclined to be a little more attentive to inspecting and replacing this critical part of your heating system. If you have any additional questions about your furnace filter, call the pros at Payne’s Heating and Air Conditioning at (850) 831-4599.