One of the most routine home maintenance tasks is replacing the HVAC air filter. Every maintenance checklist for every season includes this task. It does make sense. Replacing it is cheap, easy, and provides multiple benefits. The air filter keeps the furnace and air conditioning systems clean to help prolong the life of each. Also, preventing dust from getting on the heat exchangers improves the energy efficiency of the HVAC system. Lastly, it will keep the air clean in the house for breathing.
Problems with a Dirty Furnace Filter
The main purpose of air filter is to block dust and other debris from entering into the duct system while letting air in. Dust can create several problems for the HVAC system. Certain particles can promote corrosion. The metal walls of the ducts and the surfaces of the furnace and air coditioner’s evaporator can be susceptible to corrosion. Rust is particular spots can break a unit and lead to expensive repairs. According to the Louisiana Cooperative Extension, 9 out of 10 HVAC failures are caused by dust and dirt.
Even if no problems are created energy efficiency of the system can drop significantly. Both the furnace and air conditioner use a heat exchanger that consists of metal surfaces to transfer or remove heat from the air. Dust buildup on these surfaces creates a layer of insulation that inhibits heat transfer.