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Can a Dirty Filter Stop a Furnace From Working?

Cassie Pound, owner of Quality Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric
Published by
Cassie Pound
December 30, 2023
Can a Dirty Filter Stop a Furnace From Working?

Whatever you need for your plumbing, air conditioner, or furnace, Quality Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing can help, so call us today! 

Can a dirty filter stop a furnace from working? Keeping your furnace in top shape is essential to avoid disruptions to comfortable indoor temperatures. Changing out your furnace filter on a routine basis is one of the easiest and most effective ways to support your heating system.

In this guide, Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing will explore how dirty filters are responsible for numerous common furnace concerns, how often you need to replace filters, and the telltale signs that you have a clogged filter in your furnace. We will also cover what happens when you fail to replace your filter in a timely manner. After reading, reach out to our trusted heat and air company in Tulsa, OK, to book a service appointment. 

The Most Common Reason for Furnace Problems: Dirty Filters

Clogged air filters in your furnace can have more of an impact than you may realize. Just before the end of the heating season (or at the very beginning), you should swap out your current furnace filter to keep your system running in optimal condition and avoid damage-causing clogs. 

Clean filters help your heating system get the proper airflow it requires to send warm air throughout your space. When this is limited, the heat may remain stuck or cause the appliance to overheat.

Furnace parts will work twice as hard and struggle to get your home at the temperatures you want, causing them to wear down earlier than they should, putting a large hole in your wallet and affecting your budget in an unexpected way.

How Often Should You Replace Furnace Filters?

Therefore, replacing your filter should become a significant part of your HVAC routines. Although replacement frequency varies for furnace size and system type, the best recommendation is to change out your furnace filter once a month. At the beginning of each month, check your current filter’s condition, swap it out if it’s quite dirty, and keep some extra filters on hand so you never get stuck without any!

If you’re not sure when to replace your furnace filter, make a note of your current filter’s size and follow this helpful guide:

  • 1 in. to 2 in. filters = Every one to three months
  • 3 in. to 4 in. filters = Every six to nine months
  • 5 in. to 6 in. filters = Every nine to twelve months

Schedule your annual furnace tuneup appointment with a reliable heating and cooling business near you before the start of the fall and winter months. It’s better to make note of problems and resolve them before you need to use your furnace than in the middle of winter.

Signs You Have Clogged Furnace Filters

If your furnace functions as normal, you might not give it a second thought until something goes wrong. With so much going on in your life, you may not remember how long it’s been since your last furnace filter replacement. Fortunately, you can look for a few clues that it’s time to do so. 

Replacing your furnace filters is essential to avoid cold winter nights and having to spend a fortune on a new system. When something is wrong with your system, try replacing the filters; if problems persist, you should schedule professional furnace repair services in your area. Repairs, maintenance, and putting in new filters in your property’s furnace are among the best methods to save money and avoid furnace replacement.

Look for the following indicators that you should swap out your filters: 

  • You and your family are coughing more, notice increased allergies, or notice a decline in indoor air quality.
  • Your furnace is operating at decreased efficiency, resulting in a colder property without consistent temperatures.
  • Your furnace has more frequent breakdowns and broken parts.
  • You don’t know when the last time you put in a new filter was. 

What Problems Can a Dirty Air Filter in Your Furnace Cause?

Can a dirty filter stop a furnace from working? Yes, but many of them are preventable by swapping out your filters and scheduling your annual maintenance services with a trusted HVAC company. Unfortunately, having a clogged filter in your furnace can lead to the following major issues.

Uncomfortable Temperatures

When your furnace filter is clogged, it’s almost impossible to reach the warm temperatures you want inside your home. The dust and dirt act as a barrier, preventing the smooth and consistent airflow you’ve come to expect. You’ll notice distinctly cold areas of your home instead of warmth.

During cold Tulsa winters, the last thing you want to deal with is feeling even colder in your house. Keep your family on a routine and make a note to replace furnace filters every one to six months, depending on your respective filter size. After you know what kind you have, stick to a consistent schedule to avoid having temperature problems in the future. 

Additionally, booking routine maintenance services can also keep dirty filters in check, though you should change them throughout the year, too.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

When your furnace filters are blocked with dander, dust, and debris, they will eventually stop doing their job. This means that the contaminants in your property’s indoor air remain present, impacting you and your loved ones. The increased level of pollutants contributes to stronger allergies and respiratory problems and could potentially increase your chances of getting sick, especially during the winter months.

Can a dirty filter stop a furnace from working? Most definitely, but it can also make you feel worse during colder weather.

You can experience cleaner air that doesn’t contribute to sickness or health problems by simply getting a new air filter. It’s a small step for your furnace, but one that makes a huge impact. You’ll feel better about your health and how your furnace operates! It’s a win all around.

Expensive Heating Bills

If you want to avoid high heating bills each month, replace your old furnace filter with a fresh one. Taking care of furnaces and boilers not only helps them last as long as possible and avoid an early replacement, but they also can save you money in other ways. You’ll pay less money for your bills and experience a better-functioning furnace, so remember to make time to care for your heating system.

Other Negative Consequences of Neglecting a Clogged Furnace Filter

Although we’ve explained some of the top results of not replacing your furnace filter, these are not the only things that can happen. Consider some of the other problems that forgetting to swap out the filter can manifest, then contact local technicians or invest in some replacement filters:

  • Short cycling problems
  • Damage to the furnace’s heat exchanger
  • A broken or less efficient blower motor
  • Problems with internal parts
  • Lack of heat
  • A complete furnace breakdown

Contact Quality Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing for Trusted Furnace Repair Services in Tulsa or Glenpool, Oklahoma!

Now that we’ve thoroughly answered, “Can a dirty filter stop a furnace from working?” it’s time to schedule your furnace repair appointment with our trusted HVAC business serving Glenpool and Tulsa, OK. We have the reliable heating repair services you need and are a top-rated team. Besides working on your home’s heating system, we are also equipped to repair, install, or maintain your air conditioning and plumbing systems.

Call Quality Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing now at (918) 276-7151 to book superior furnace services in Tulsa, Oklahoma!

Cassie Pound, owner of Quality Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric
Published by
Cassie Pound

Cassie Pound is the Vice President of Quality Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric with locations in Tulsa, Glenpool, and Bartlesville, Oklahoma.