Can Clogged Furnace Filters Make Me Sick?

Most homeowners don’t give too much thought to their home’s furnace air filter. It is not until they notice substantially more dust around the house that they decide to inspect the filters. But by then, the filter is months old or more and is completely coated with dust and dirt. In addition, that dirt could have been creating other issues such as severe allergic reactions and unnecessary wear and tear on your furnace. While you might vow to do a better job of replacing these filters, it is often not followed up on. But when you learn the cost of putting off this simple task, you might begin to see some added value in replacing furnace filters regularly.

The Job Of A Furnace Filter

The job of your furnace filter is actually to protect the delicate components inside your furnace equipment. Today’s HVAC equipment is a complex blend of mechanical devices and electronics that are susceptible to damage from dust and other tiny particles. Your furnace filter’s job is to remove those particles and dust before they enter the system. As a result, clean furnace filters will substantially lengthen the life of your furnace. 

In addition, you reap the benefit of the filtered air circulated by your HVAC equipment. The dust, dander, pet hair, and pollen detrimental to the inside of your furnace are also not healthy for you to breathe. So your furnace filter is providing an essential service to you and your furnace equipment.

How Long Do Furnace Filters Last?

It is such a simple question that you would expect a concise answer. However, there are many variables to consider. The first is the quality of the air filter. HEPA filters are rated to remove 99,97% to 99.99% of all particles. But as you can imagine, the more particles that the filter traps, the more often t would need to be replaced. So when you use a quality filter, it might need to be replaced each month. But a lesser quality filter could continue to function for two months. However, it is not capturing as much of the contaminants in the air.

Second, the environment is a massive factor in the life of an air filter. If you live in a dusty climate or have many trees and pollen in the air around your home, the filter will need more frequent replacement. Finally, the air quality inside your home has an impact on the life of your furnace filter. If you have domestic pets, use a fireplace or wood-burning stove, or smoke indoor, the filter will require more frequent replacement to remove all the added particles from the air.

Signs It Is Time For A New Furnace Filter

Other than time-based inspections and replacements, there are some typical indications that you should check and possibly replace your HVAC filter. These signs include:

  • Excessive dust in your home
  • It takes longer to heat or cool your home
  • Your energy bill suddenly increases
  • Your allergies are suddenly worse
  • You constantly have issues with a sore throat or coughing
  • The grates on your vents are dusty
  • The air coming from your furnace vents smell musty or dirty
  • You see dust blowing out of the furnace registers

One More Step

To extend the life of your furnace filters and increase your home’s air quality, schedule a professional air duct cleaning. This process removes all of the dust and dirt that has accumulated over the years. Call (512) 910-8123 to schedule an appointment with the pros at Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning to clean your home’s ducts and inspect your furnace for leaks contributing to allergy issues.

Get in touch with your local professionals today to schedule plumbing and HVAC service: 512-910-8123!

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