What Happens When You Don't Change Your Furnace's Air Filter

October 07, 2015

One of the most common problems that we encounter at McKinley Heating Service Experts in Edmonton is dusty air filters. They might seem like a very small piece of the overall home comfort puzzle, but the role they play in helping us control comfort is a lot larger than most homeowners notice. Regardless if it is cooling season or heating season, having a dirty air filter can cause a number of problems for your heating and AC system.

So what exactly happens when you forget to change your air filter? Here are a just a couple of the side effects you could encounter:

  • Decreased airflow. This is easily the biggest problem you’ll note when your home’s air filter is badly clogged. The longer the air filter goes without being swapped out, the more dirt, dust and other particles build up. Of course, this prevents air from passing through the filter as it should, meaning your system is working quite a bit harder to leave you with the same amount of air.
  • Frozen coil. If your system is operating harder due to a clogged air filter, you also run the chance of having the cooling coil freeze inside of the system, because it’s working overtime to provide you with cool air.
  • Total loss of cooling or heating. This is also a probability if your air filter goes unattended for months and months on end. In essence, you will have worked your system so hard that something gives out or wears out and needs to be replaced or serviced.
  • Short cycling. Short cycling means the heating and cooling system turns on and off more than it should. When your system short cycles, it can overheat or break down from the added work, possibly causing damage to your system.

In addition to these, you can also expect:

  • A shorter equipment lifecycle
  • Reduced energy efficiency
  • Decreased air quality
  • More dust and debris
  • Lack of comfort

If you’re not sure when you last swapped out your air filter, it may be a good time to do so in order to avoid any potential damage that may come with a dirty air filter. If you don’t know where your home’s air filter is located or you simply have a question about the various air filters available, give McKinley Heating Service Experts a call at or schedule an appointment online.

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