What Happens When You Don't Clean Your Furnace Filter

Find out what happens when you don't clean your furnace filter and why it's important for your HVAC system.

What Happens When You Don't Clean Your Furnace Filter

Without a new air filter, the oven will overheat every time it is turned on again. This is known as short cycling. Dirty oven filters cause the oven to work harder than necessary due to decreased airflow. The harder your oven works, the faster its parts will wear out and need repairs.

If you leave the filter on for too long, it may become so clogged that the filter absorbs into the HVAC system. Not only will the air not filter properly, but it can also pose a fire hazard to the ventilation. If the air cleaner is not performed often enough, it will eventually become clogged to the point where air cannot pass through it. When the oven is running, the lack of air flow will trap heat in the system.

As the temperature inside the system continues to rise, the limit switch will activate and turn off the oven to prevent it from overheating. This will temporarily mitigate the problem, but will not resolve the root of the problem. Of course, the goal of this post is to make it clear that you would save yourself a lot of frustration if you changed your air filter every few months. This prevents clogging in the first place, making it much less likely that short cycles will occur. If you're not sure where your air filter is located, call a professional and they'll be happy to show you.

A clogged air filter allows heat to jam when working in the oven. A part called a “limit switch” activates and shuts down the system to protect it as the oven temperature rises to unsafe levels. However, this does not address the underlying cause of excessive heat. Permanent filters are more expensive upfront, but they can save you money in the long run because you can clean them instead of replacing them. The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) is an industry-standard rating for consumers to know how well an air filter cleans the air that passes through it.

All the extra work you have to do to circulate clean air through dirty filters will eventually strain your air conditioner parts, which could cause them to break down more quickly. You may not know it, but your oven relies heavily on the air filter that is located in the air return duct. One of the main problems with dirty air filters is that they make the air conditioning system work harder to circulate fresh, clean air throughout the house. Your oven's air filter is little more than a fiber mesh, woven tight enough to capture debris, but loose enough to allow air to flow through it. The filter is installed in the return duct, so that all the air that flows into the oven must first flow through the filter. Whether you're trying to improve the air quality in your home for health reasons or want to reduce energy and maintenance costs in your home, regularly cleaning or replacing your HVAC filter is an inexpensive and easy step in your home maintenance routine.

There is no way for the filter to get rid of the debris it collects, which means that when it is not cleaned or replaced every few months, it will clog up too much for air to flow through it. Read on to find out what happens when your oven's air filter doesn't get the service or maintenance it needs. MERVs range from 1 to 16, with a higher number indicating greater cleaning efficiency because they can filter smaller particles from the air. Your oven's air filter is little more than a fiber mesh, tight enough to trap debris, but loose enough to allow air to flow through it. Routinely changing or cleaning filters in your home's heating and air conditioning system helps units operate more efficiently and enjoy a longer lifespan. If you install a new filter but don't turn on the heating or air conditioning until a month or two later, the filter should still be relatively clean since the system hasn't been forcing air through.

If the filter hasn't been cleaned or replaced for a while and your air conditioner simply doesn't blow cool air like before, it could mean that the machine has frozen.

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