If your home depends on a central heating system to keep your household warm, you may have been neglecting to change the air filter regularly. However, if this is the case, you risk causing one of the following mechanical issues that can be caused by an overly dirty filter in your electric furnace.
Restricted Air Flow Strains the Blower
As part of its job, the air filter in your furnace removes dust and dirt while the air flows freely through the system. This filtering keeps particles from contaminating the interior of the furnace, as well as being reintroduced into the air in your house.
However, when the filter becomes so dirty that the holes clog up, the air is not able to flow through the system as it should. When this happens, the blower and fan inside the heater have to work much harder to pull air through the system.
This inability to easily pass air through the furnace puts excessive strain on the blower and fan. Eventually, one or both may burn out, resulting in costly repairs and replacement of the parts.
Excess Dirt and Dust Coats the Heater Coils
When the blower and fan are able to pull air through the clogged filter, the air brings with it dust and dirt. This excess dust and dirt then land on the heater coils, where the heat from the coils causing the debris to coat them.
Since the heater coils become coated, they are no longer able to cool down in between uses. As a result, the heater coils may eventually burn out from exposure to their own heat.
Furnace May Stop Heating Your Home
Even if the heater coils do not burn out when coated with dust and dirt from the clogged filter, they will no longer work as they should. Because they are overheating while coated with excess dust, the thermostat within the furnace will detect that the heat has reached its maximum sooner than it should.
As a result, the furnace will then turn off prematurely before it has a chance to fully heat your home. Especially if the coating of dust from the dirty filter is thick, the furnace may start running more often but will never bring your house's temperature to the thermostat setting.
If you cannot remember the last time you changed your furnace's filter, you should do so as soon as possible to avoid any of the above scenarios. However, if your furnace starts showing signs of problems even after you change the filter, contact a heating repair service so they can inspect the unit and make any necessary repairs before the furnace fails completely.