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Why does my furnace filter clog so quickly?

Why Does My Heath Furnace Filter Get Dirty So Quickly? Discover Why It Clogs in Heath

The purpose of the filter in your home’s heating and cooling equipment is to trap foreign particles, prevent them from entering the furnace, then being spewed out into your home again. So naturally, your home’s furnace filter is going to get dirty.

We recommend checking your furnace filter monthly and replacing at least every 3 months. Sometimes, though, that air filter can clog much faster than normal, causing performance and efficiency problems before you are even aware this is an issue.

In this article we’ll discuss the five leading causes of a clogged furnace filter and why it might clog up with dirt and debris faster than expected.

5 Leading Causes of a Clogged Furnace Filter

  1. Inexpensive Filter Our experience dictates that cheaper filters tend to have much shorter lifespans than higher quality high performance filters. Did you know those inexpensive fiberglass filters solid in retail stores is only designed to last for a maximum of 30 days? If you encounter any of the other conditions listed below, that time span may be even shorter. We recommend other types of filters than last 60-90 days, or switch to an electronic air cleaner that lasts even longer.
  2. Extreme Temperatures Temperatures outside being hotter or colder than expected can cause your system to run longer, cycling more air through your furnace or air conditioner. When more air is being pushed through the system by the blower motor man, naturally the filter is going to capture more dirt and clog faster.
  3. Fan Running Constantly Just like in the last item in this list, leaving your thermostat fan switched to “on” will move more air through the system because it’s running constantly. Even when your system isn’t heating or cooling air, it is blowing more air across the filter and catching more dirt. This can be considered a positive, as your filter is catching more dirt, but the downside is the filter will need to be changed more frequently. Eliminate this source by leaving your fan set to “heat” or “cool” whichever is appropriate for the current season. If you want to move air through your home when there is no need for heat or cool air (like fall season), simply open the windows.
  4. Dirt Near Return Ducts Have you ever noticed how dust and dirt tend to collect on and around the return vents in your home? That’s a natural effect of the return air vent sucking air to supply the furnace with new air to heat or cool. A buildup of dirt on your home’s return vents means that dirt will be pulled directly into the ducts by the blower motor fan, attaching itself to the filter. You can eliminate this issue by removing the return air ducts and rinsing them in the sink, or wiping them down with a damp cloth (like a Clorox wipe).
  5. A Lot of Contaminants in the Air It’s entirely possible your household simply has an excess of airborne contaminants. This could be the case if you’ve had any remodeling done lately (like drywall work), or there is a lot of construction being done nearby stirring up dirt and debris. Certain pets can produce a lot of excess debris in the air (there’s a reason we call one particular breed dogs German shedders). Also during certain times of the year (like fall allergy season), outdoor plants are shedding excess pollen and lint and that can get tracked in on your shoes, on a pet’s fur, or on your clothes or your own hair.

The Solution to Excessive Dirty HVAC Filters

If you keep experiencing this situation in your home, we recommend you start with a whole-house duct cleaning to eliminate most of the excess dust and dirt in your home’s HVAC system. Then, consult with one of our expert heating and cooling technicians to find the optimal filter for your Heath, Ohio HVAC system.

Most importantly, have your heating and cooling system checked by a qualified service technician in the spring or fall, before the heaviest use of the equipment comes into play. An excessively clogged filter can cause extra wear and tear on your system, causing it to fail earlier then normal. Performing routine maintenance on the HVAC system will reduce the chances that you’ll lose heat in the coldest night of the winter, or cool air in the hottest days of the summer.

Dor-Mar to the Rescue!

Schedule an appointment for HVAC system installation, troubleshooting or maintenance with us today by using our online contact form, or call our Heath number listed below . We pride ourselves on our customer-focused service, and our reviews show it!

HEATH  740.640.6116

Dor-Mar…Your Climate Hero!

*Please note: neither the Centers for Disease Control(CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), nor the manufacturer of our UV-C Devices have officially announced whether UV-C kills the current strain of Corona Virus (COVID-19). We urge you to err on the side of caution until we have a definitive answer, and take other measures to prevent the acquisition or spread of this virus.


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PLEASE NOTE: If you are a renter, please have your landlord/owner contact us directly to schedule service. We can only work with property owners.


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