Clean Furnace Filters Prevent 30 Percent of Expensive Service Calls

Fortunately, heating and air conditioning contractors find that most homeowners care for their furnace filters. These homeowners change their furnace filters as needed. In turn, they enjoy:

  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Better air conditioning
  • Cleaner indoor air
  • Fewer heating and air conditioning repairs

However, some homeowners do not realize the big benefits from keeping furnace filters clean. This small piece of equipment is responsible for 30 percent of heating and air conditioning repairs.

How Furnace Filters Affect Heating and Air Conditioning

Furnace filters are how the heating and air conditioning system breathes. As air passes through furnace filters, solid particles of different sizes are captured. Clean air, on the other side of these furnace filters, is then cooled or heated before reentering the home.

In effect, furnace filters accomplish two things. First, it cleans and purifies home air of harmful particles and bothersome allergens. Second, it protects the heating and air conditioning system from damaging buildup.

When furnace filters are able to do these two things, homeowners have better air conditioning, cleaner air, a longer lasting central air system and improved energy spending.

However, problems arise when the heating and air conditioning system works on dirty furnace filters.

Dirty Furnace Filters Cause These Top Issues

Dirty furnace filters are overused furnace filters, which means they are completely packed. Much like the lint screen in the clothes dryer, furnace filters need to be cleaned or replaced regularly in order to function correctly. Working the central air system on dirty furnace filters causes two major problems.

When furnace filters are full, they are unable to capture and separate particles from the air. Less air is able to pass through these furnace filters. Consequently, what air does make it through the furnace filters are dirty. With not enough air to for a balanced heat transfer, the furnace overheats. In turn, the entire system shuts down. From here on out, the furnace will not turn back on for operation until a technician resets the limit switch.

The limit switch is a trigger that shuts down the furnace from operation when it detects an impending threat. In this case, it is when the system heats higher than the safe temperature.

The second problem dirty furnace filters cause is frozen evaporator coils. Evaporator coils are used for the air conditioning process. Their function is to hold compressed refrigerant, and because of the constant energy transfer they also coat with water. When dirty air passes over these sticky coils, buildup accumulates. As a result, soggy pieces freeze over the evaporator coils. With each cycle through dirty furnace filters, the ice grows thicker and thicker until the system can no longer operate.

This is a messy situation for homeowners. In order to resolve frozen evaporator coils, the ice must thaw. Unfortunately, this generally results in serious water damage.

Prevent 30 Percent of Service Calls with Healthy Furnace Filters

Homeowners are encouraged to change their furnace filters on a regular basis. Keeping furnace filters clean and healthy results in clean and healthy home air. It also helps your central air system last longer with fewer repairs and expensive damages. Keeping your furnace filters clean saves you from 30 percent of all service calls.

Changing furnace filters is very simple. It is a task homeowners can do without the supervision of their heating and air conditioning technicians. How often do homeowners need to change furnace filters? It all depends on the demands of the home.

You can run a quick color test to see if furnace filters need replacement.

Furnace filters are large window-like boxes. The outer frame is often made of plastic or cardboard, and white in color. The center portion is pleated, resembling felt or cotton.

Check to see the difference in color. Since the outer frame is generally white, if the center filter is much darker than the white frame, it’s a good time to change furnace filters.

It may take some experimentation to see just how often furnace filters need to be changed, especially since each home is different.

Homeowners are encouraged to take note of energy bills, air quality and air conditioning performance for further indication.

How the Attic Affects the Furnace and Heating

Since the attic is out of sight, the average homeowner does little to nothing for it or about it. However, the attic has a big impact on home comfort, furnace performance and energy spending, which is why furnace contractors encourage homeowners to make changes.

Homeowners who do decide to fix the attic benefit tremendously. They experience better heating and air conditioning, lower utility bills and better home comfort.

How do you know it’s time to furnish the attic?

  • You experience high utility bills
  • Some rooms of the home are harder to heat
  • Home air is uncomfortable

How does the attic environment affect the furnace and heating? It happens in three significant ways.

Ten to Thirty Percent Heat Loss Through the Skin of the Air Ducts

What is it about that attic that makes it a unique environment? First, it is a separate part of the home, often ignored and rarely maintained. This allows for germs and particles to collect and multiply.

In addition, because the attic is the top of the house, the roof takes the brunt of the heat during the summer months. The attic also has many leaks and holes leading to outside air, which is generally a different temperature than indoor air. Both these characteristics allow the attic space to superheat in the summer, or fill with icy air in the winter.

Why is this important? Air ducts, a crucial part of the furnace system, are also kept in the attic.

The air duct system moves air in and out of the house. Cold and dirty indoor air moves through the air ducts and travels into the furnace for heating or air conditioning. Once the furnace heats air, it is pushed back through the ducts and into the house.

Now, if the temperature in the attic drops low but the air duct carries heated air, a heat exchange through the skin of the air duct is inevitable. This results in heat loss. To be specific, between 10 to 30 percent of energy can be wasted just through the skin of the air ducts. For some homes, the heat loss can be as great as 40 percent.

Essentially the cold attic air “steals” heating that could be used for the home. While it may not feel like much in the beginning, it adds quickly.

Increased Workload for the Furnace

Furnace contractors measure the heating unit in your home to ensure that it fits the house load. What does this mean? The design of each furnace differs. Bigger houses use bigger furnaces to serve a larger workload of heating and air conditioning. A smaller house with a larger furnace would spend too much energy on excessive heating. In the same way, a larger house with a smaller furnace would, still, spend too much money on heating. This is because a smaller furnace works overtime to get the home air to the temperature set on the thermostat.

When the attic works against heating, the workload for the furnace also increases. Generally, this is because the furnace has to heat the same air over and over again in a fight against heat loss.

There are so many places heated air can escape.

  • Air ducts
  • Loose connections
  • Cracked sealing
  • Broken pipes and ductwork
  • Leaks in home construction

As a result, homeowners deal with:

  • Frequent heat cycles
  • Longer wait time for heating
  • Higher energy bills
  • Frequent repairs
  • Shorter furnace lifespan
  • Compromised home comfort

With poor air quality and all the leaks in the attic space, heating is unraveled. Up to 30 percent of furnace heating escapes through these loopholes. The furnace works even harder to reheat air that should have made it into the house already.

Air Duct Leaks Lead to Higher Energy Spending

What is worse than having leaks in the attic space? Leaks in the air duct system.

One of the most urgent furnace repairs is that for leaks in the air ducts. When air ducts have tears, cleaned and heated air escapes the duct system and into the attic space. In turn, dirty and cold attic air enters the air ducts and the home. This completely foils the work the furnace does. Consequently, homeowners settle for dirty air and pay for furnace heating that never gets to the house at all.

Homeowners must remember that with air duct leaks, they don’t only deal with energy loss. They also invite poor indoor air quality into the home. Because the attic does not receive the type of filtration and ventilation as the rest of the home, air is exceptionally dirty.

There are thousands of different germs, bacteria and particles in the attic. When that enters the air duct system, attic air moves directly into the house.

What kind of germs and particles are in attic air?

  • Fiberglass
  • Asbestos
  • Bugs, fecal matter
  • Dust, dirt, pollen
  • Microbiological growth
  • Paint vapors, cleaning solutions, gasses

Heat leaking into the attic creates a moist environment, perfect for mold and other microbiological growths. This is swept directly into the home. While some homeowners may think it won’t happen to them, to up 50 percent of all structures have some sort of damp conditions that would encourage biological pollutants. This makes cleaning the attic exceptionally important for your furnace and home comfort.

What to Ask Your Furnace Specialists Next 

As a responsible homeowner, you want to keep in touch with your furnace specialists. Especially if your furnace is older or in need of regular care, there can be many worries.

Furnace specialists have a wealth of information, tips and suggestions. All homeowners need to do is ask the right questions. To get the most of your HVAC service, ask these four basic questions to constantly provide the care your central air system deserves.

How has my central air system changed?

When furnace specialists maintain your central air, they always have a few goals in mind. First and foremost, they test to see if the furnace is safe to use. Then, furnace specialists do what they can to restore energy efficiency, cleanliness and proper operation.

However, aging is a natural process. It is expected that with more use and time, parts of the furnace and air conditioner will decline. Fortunately, there are several ways homeowners can help prevent early repairs and decline.

What can I do to help my furnace and air conditioner?

Depending on how your system changes, homeowners can adjust the way they use the central air system.

Is the system stressed because of a large heating load? Is a weak air filter reducing energy efficiency? Furnace specialists know exactly how to change usage habits to fight these issues.

How long does my central air system have left?

Most central air systems last up to a decade. HVAC technology has improved to increase energy efficiency and system lifespan. However, it really depends on the care it is provided.

For this reason, furnace maintenance is vital. Furnace specialists encourage all homeowners to make repairs in a timely manner to prevent permanent damages.

Depending on the age of the furnace, repairs become more or less important. If your central air experiences reoccurring repairs, it may be a smarter decision to install a new furnace.

With the help of your furnace specialists, a practical solution can be made.

What else can help save time and money?

Since the invention of the furnace, there have been countless improvements. Furnace specialists keep updated with all the new developments in the HVAC industry, making it available to homeowners everywhere. Whatever your lifestyle goals or concerns, there is an answer.

Furnace specialists know exactly what works for your home to save time and money. Work together to devise a creative plan to start saving.

Elevate Your Home and Furnace Filters with Service Champions HVAC

Service Champions Heating & Air Conditioning is the Diamond Certified HVAC provider for Orange and Los Angeles Counties. Southern California homeowners trust us for superior customer service and expert technical care.

We deliver exceptional solutions to increase and protect your home comfort. From furnace filters to HVAC installations, we have the experience, tools and resources to make the most of your heating and air conditioning.

To meet your expert for furnace filters or other services, complete the form below. You can also speak to our friendly call center representatives for more information.