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Problems with Dirty Air Filters and Dirty Ducts

There are a number of different things that can go wrong with a heating system, whether a furnace or heat pump, during our long winters. You can avoid the majority of these problems through a regular maintenance program like ours. It only takes one visit a year to get your heater in great shape.

But there is no way to prevent all heating issues. One that comes up often is something that isn’t specifically wrong with the furnace/heat pump, but with the filters and the ductwork.

Dirty air filters

The standard forced-air HVAC system has an air filter that protects the cabinet interior from dust and other debris that can come in through the return air ducts. But this filter, just like the air filter in a vehicle, will develop clogging over time. This will lead to some major troubles for the furnace or heat pump:

  • Reduction in air flow will force the blower to work harder, driving up bills and leading to increased wear on the system. It can even shorten the system’s service life.
  • The strain on the blower can also cause the system to trip a circuit breaker.
  • The air filter will start to bulge, allowing dust and dirt to escape around the sides.
  • Trapped air can lead to the furnace overheating.

To avoid this problem, always change the filter every 1 to 3 months. Less expensive filters will need to be replaced more often.

Dirty air ducts

Serious efficiency issues can start with a heating system if the ducts are filled with an accumulation of dust and dirt. The resistance to airflow will inflate energy bills. There will also be excess contaminants blown into the air in the living space. You will need to schedule professional duct cleaning to solve this—it isn’t something you can take care of yourself with a long-hosed vacuum!

Advanced Mechanical Services offers heating repair and maintenance to Palisades Park, NJ and throughout the Tri-State Area.

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