In many cases, the answer is yes. During the winter months, your heating system keeps your home warm and cozy. But sometimes, problems with your furnace due to a dirty air filter will prevent it from generating sufficient heat when you need it most.

Even though your furnace is the primary source that produces the heat you need, the device itself needs unblocked airflow to operate smoothly. Without it, you experience delayed heating, or no heat at all, potentially shutting down the appliance requiring a technician to make a costly house call. Before that happens to you, here are some tips about your home’s heating system we want you to know.

Dirty Air Filters – One of the Most Common Problems in Heating and Cooling Systems

It’s not uncommon to think it’s time for a Furnace replacement because it finally stopped working. Now, depending on your unit, when it stops working, if you’re like most, you might check your breakers first or, if it is a gas furnace, the pilot light. But before you do that, the first thing we recommend is inspecting your unit’s air filter. A word of caution, cover your nose and mouth before touching the filter.

When you examine the air filter, is it filthy with dust build-up and debris stuck in it? If it has that, the heating system is starving for air and cannot work correctly—the thing to remember, airflow, when restricted by dirty and clogged air filters, can potentially prevent you from getting sufficient heat. Or worse, your furnace works harder, using up more energy, which increases your monthly utility bill.

What Happens When An Air Filter Remains Clogged in a Furnace?

It may not be obvious; at first, but with clogged air filters, the airflow becomes hampered and restricted. Meaning, the furnace is having a hard time breathing. As a result, the unit’s air handler must work harder. It has to do that to compensate for the low flow of air.

When the airflow slows down, it increases the chances that the furnace’s heat exchanger is getting heated up to such an extent that it shuts down quickly and abruptly. As a result, your home can’t warm up. If it continues, expect a failure in the electronic safeguard, causing the furnace not to light up.

Here Are Three Symptoms of Clogged Furnace Filters

When the air filters of your furnace are clogged, you can expect to get poor performance. Besides higher energy consumption bills, here are three other symptoms to watch for:

  • Furnace Failure – It might seem strange, but clogged air filters might indeed lead to a furnace failure. Recommended furnace filter replacement intervals are 1-2 inch furnace filters change every three months, 4-inch air filters every six months, and 5-inch furnace filters once a year.
  • Component Failure – A clogged furnace filter can cause severe damage to your heating system’s internal parts, resulting in a furnace failure. Repairing the furnace or replacing it is costly, and depending on your home’s setup, it may not be a quick fix.
  • Low Heating–If you experience insufficient heating in your home, there’s a high probability you have clogged air filters. Though the blower fan pushes air through the filter, the air might not be able to pass because of the clog. The airflow gets reduced, and you start finding cold spots throughout your home that were previously not there.

When looking for a furnace filter replacement or you need a total furnace replacement, contact us at (800) 321-9494 and speak to one of our trained furnace specialists. For the best services at affordable rates, you can always trust American AC Heat Plumbing.


James Smith

As you can tell from our humble beginnings in 1981, we began as a family-owned business and stayed a locally owned air conditioning and heating company in Los Angeles county for nearly 40 years.