What Happens if You Don't Clean Your Furnace Filter?

Without a new air filter, the oven will overheat every time it is turned back on. This is known as short cycling. Dirty oven filters cause the oven to work harder than due to decreased air flow. The harder your furnace works, the faster your parts will wear out and need repairs. A clogged air filter causes heat to be trapped in the oven while it is operating.

As the oven temperature reaches dangerous levels, a part called a “limit switch” activates and shuts down the system to protect it. However, this does not resolve the root cause of overheating. As the oven is turned on, overheated, turned off, and then turned back on, the voltage will eventually cause the entire system to break down. That's why it's so important to keep your air filter clean. If the air filter is not repaired often enough, it will eventually become clogged to the point where air cannot pass through it.

When the oven is operating, the lack of air flow will trap heat in the system. As the temperature inside the system continues to rise, the limit switch will turn on and turn off the oven to prevent it from overheating. This will temporarily mitigate the problem, but will not resolve the root problem. Of course, the purpose of this post is to make it clear that you would save yourself a bit of frustration if you changed your air filter every few months. This prevents it from clogging in the first place, making short cycles much less likely to occur.

If you're not sure where your air filter is located, call a professional who will be happy to show it to you. As we mentioned earlier, dirty air can affect your health in many ways. However, it can also cause problems in your home. If dirty filters are left on for too long, you may start to notice dust particles coming out of the ventilation grilles. The filter is installed in the return duct, so that all air entering the furnace must first flow through the filter. MERVs range from 1 to 16, and a higher number indicates greater cleaning efficiency because they can filter smaller particles from the air.

Your oven's air filter is little more than a fiber mesh, narrow enough to capture dirt, but loose enough to allow air to flow through it. 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. The most common problem due to the operation of an oven without a filter is the poor quality of the indoor air. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV, is an industry standard classification 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 put pressure on the air conditioner parts, which could cause them to break more quickly. An oven filter not only purifies the air but also keeps internal mechanisms of HVAC systems working properly.

In recent years, this air-cleaning function has become more important for homeowners and manufacturers have designed filters that use their heating and cooling systems to remove microscopic particles such as dust, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, plant spores and mold and even smoke from your home's atmosphere. If you install a new filter but don't turn on your heater or AC until a month or two later, then your filter should be relatively clean since no airflow has passed through it yet. The filter has no way of removing debris that accumulates which means if not cleaned or replaced every few months then it will become too clogged for any airflow at all. Fortunately these filters are easy to change making it a quick and painless home maintenance task that dramatically improves oven airflow.

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