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5 Signs You Need a New Furnace Filter

Are you worried that the air filter is taking its toll on your furnace? Have you noticed that your energy bills have launched into the stratosphere in the past few months? If so, then you need to learn all that you can about common HVAC problems.

One of the most common is self-inflicted—when a homeowner forgets to switch out their furnace filter regularly. This can cause tremendous stress on your furnace if left unchecked.

See below for an in-depth guide on several telltale signs that you have heating problems and need a new furnace filter right away.

1. Your Energy Bills Are Rising Quickly

Perhaps you’ve noticed that your energy bills are steadily climbing, with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Maybe you have the nagging feeling that your furnace is working harder than it’s supposed to.

One of the most common signs that you need to replace your furnace filter is when your energy bills have risen over the winter months. Sometimes, the climb is more significant than others. 

Air filters are tasked with protecting your entire HVAC system from harmful pathogens like dirt, dust, mold spores, and dander, among others. This prevents them from recirculating through your system, thus improving the air quality inside of your home.

However, that comes with a price. As the filter blocks unwanted substances and pathogens from your HVAC system, it reaches a point where the collection is so dense that it blocks airflow from getting into your system.

As a result, your system is forced to overwork itself to pump out the same amount of air. It needs to do this to keep the interior at your desired temperature; no airflow means a very cold winter for you and your family.

As soon as you notice that your energy bills are higher than they should be, try switching out the air filter and monitor the energy bill the following month. You’ll be glad that you did!

To prevent this from happening in the future, be sure to purchase furnace filters from Discount Filters and replace them each month.

2. There is Visible Dirt/Dust

Generally speaking, you can often tell when you need a new furnace filter by just looking at it. Depending on your setup, you might not even need to look at the actual filter to tell.

First, take a look at the vent or vented door that’s in front of the furnace filter. Is there visible dust gathered on the vents? If so, this is an obvious sign that you need a new filter to keep pace with the dust in your house. 

Even if the vent looks clean, open it up once a week to assess the condition of the air filter itself. Is there visible dirt? Does the filter have a darker shade than when you first installed it?

A visibly dirty filter can cause your entire system to work twice as hard. The harder it works to produce the same result, the more energy it will burn and the more likely it is to overheat.

One way to avoid this problem is by replacing the filter every month after you’ve paid your mortgage or rent. Associate one habit with another and your entire house will become more energy efficient.

3. There’s More Dust Around the House

It happens to us all, especially during the wintertime. You’ll be walking around the house when, all of a sudden, you notice a giant dust bunny rolling across the floor. Or perhaps your furnishings and electronics seem dustier than usual.

This isn’t an anomaly, it’s a direct result of an overused air filter. Once the air filter is blocked, there’s less airflow to direct the air in your house towards the filter. As a result, the dust is allowed to settle wherever it wishes. 

To switch your furnace filter, turn off your HVAC system (so that dirty air isn’t being sucked up), then swap the old one out for the new filter. Make sure the airflow arrow on the cardboard is pointing towards the system (in the direction the airflow needs to go).

4. Poor Air Quality

There are professional services out there that can test the air quality in your house. However, it doesn’t usually take an elaborate test to tell you when your air quality lacks something to be desired.

Common signs of poor air quality include:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Hot and cold areas in the house
  • It’s getting harder to sleep
  • Your skin is dry and itchy
  • You or your family are having allergic reactions

Don’t shrug off any of these symptoms. Once you notice the signs, switch out your air filter. If the problems persist, call an expert HVAC technician for help.

5. Lack of Air From Your Vents

This one is easy. Walk up to one of your air registers (air vents) in your house and put your hand up to it. Do you feel any air coming out? Does it feel like it should be pumping more air? 

If so, then this is another sign of an overused air filter. When the filter gets too dirty, it blocks the airflow, which is why the air is less powerful than usual from your vents.

Thankfully, you can resolve that problem quickly by switching out the air filter and getting it back to where it needs to be.

Know the Signs of HVAC Problems for Your System

Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on the many signs you need a new furnace filter, use this to solve your HVAC problems right away.

Take the time to browse our website for more articles on heating and cooling, as well as many other articles you will find insightful.

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