Welcome to Structure Tech

Don’t Ruin Your Furnace. Change Your Filter Frequently.

By In Furnace Filters On December 21, 2010


When I think of homeowner maintenance, the first thing I think of is changing the furnace filter. Most homeowners know about this regular chore, and at least one out of five homeowners is diligent about doing this.  As for everyone else…

Do you really know why you’re supposed to change your furnace filter?  Hopefully your dad, your real estate agent, or your home inspector lectured told you about doing this regularly.  There are a couple obvious reasons to change your furnace filter – your heating or cooling system will run more efficiently and the air in the ducts will hopefully be cleaner, but those aren’t the most important reasons for changing your furnace filter.

The most important reason for changing your furnace filter is to preserve the life of your furnace.

To make it very simple, your furnace works by passing relatively cool household air over a big hunk of metal, which is called your heat exchanger.  As the cool air passes over the heat exchanger, it gets warmed, which dissipates heat from the heat exchanger.  This warm air gets distributed throughout the entire home, and this is what keeps the indoor air temperature at 70 degrees when it’s -10 degrees outside.  That heat exchanger is responsible for transferring a lot of heat to the rest of the house.

Dirty Furnace FilterNow think about what would happen to that heat exchanger if it couldn’t transfer it’s heat to the rest of the house:  it would get extremely hot, much hotter than it was ever supposed to get, and it would probably fail (i.e. – crack) prematurely.

When you operate your furnace with a dirty filter, this is what you’re doing to your furnace.  You’re preventing the cool household air from passing over the heat exchanger, heat doesn’t get dissipated the way that it should, and the life of your furnace gets reduced… besides costing you more money in heating bills.

In other words, don’t forget to change your furnace filter.  It’s not just about indoor air quality.

Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections – Email – Minneapolis Home Inspections

Facebook Reuben's LinkedIn Page Follow StructureTech on Twitter ASHI Certified Home Inspector - Click To Verify Click to subscibe to Reuben's Blog

 

RELATED POST: The dirt on expensive furnace filters


About the Author

Reuben

Reuben is a second generation home inspector with a passion for his work. He grew up remodeling homes and learning about carpentry since he was old enough to hold a hammer. Reuben has worked for Structure Tech since it was purchased by Neil in 1997, and is now co-owner of the company. Reuben’s favorite customers are the ones who have a lot of questions; he grew up thinking he was going to be a school teacher because he enjoyed teaching others so much. In a sense, that’s a lot of what home inspections are about, so Reuben truly does what he loves. Reuben has an A.A. degree in liberal arts and has attended most of the Building Inspection Technology classes at North Hennepin Community College. Reuben and his wife are the proud parents of two young childen, Cy Alexander and Lucy Nicole, and have a German Shepherd named Stanley. With two young children Reuben doesn’t have much free time, but he still tries to play disc golf as often as possible during the summer. Reuben lives in Maple Grove, MN. Professional Qualifications / Memberships: *ASHI Certified Inspector *President, ASHI Heartland Chapter *Member, Minnesota Society of Housing Inspectors (MSHI) *Licensed Minneapolis Truth-in-Sale of Housing Evaluator *Licensed Saint Paul Truth-in-Sale of Housing Evaluator *Licensed Maplewood Truth-in-Sale of Housing Evaluator *Licensed Hopkins Truth-in-Housing Evaluator *Licensed Robbinsdale Point of Sale Evaluator *Affiliate Member, Southern Twin Cities Association of Realtors

4 Comments

  • furnace guy 4 YEARS AGO

    You're right on with this post. Dirty furnace filters are responsible for numerous service calls as well. Overheating the furnace causes it to shut off on a high temperature safety switch. Doing this once too often will cause the switch to break and this will leave you without heat. In the summer, dirty filters cause your ac to run longer, which drives up your electric bill. If you think that outcome is undesireable, it can also cause much worse problems. Change your filter once a month with a cheaper pleated filter.