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Why Does My Furnace Filter Get Dirty So Fast?

Furnace Filter Image

Why Is My Furnace Filter Getting Dirty So Quickly?

Furnace filters can become dirty quite quickly depending on your home and living conditions.

Your furnace filter is one of the most important parts of your HVAC system.

Allowing your filter to become too dirty can result in your furnace short cycling or your AC to freeze up.

Not only does the furnace filter help cut down on dust in the air, but it also helps protect all of the important parts of your furnace and air conditioner.

Depending on your home and living conditions, you may ending up changing your furnace filter more or less frequently than others.

If your furnace filter is getting dirty faster than usual, here are some things to check:

Dust In Your Home

Cleaning and dusting your home on a regular basis is a good way to extend the life of your furnace filters.

It’s advised to dust and vacuum your home at least once per week to cut down on the overall dust level of your home.

Having your carpets professionally cleaned at least once per year is recommended as well as they are able to clean much deeper than a regular vacuum.

Did you know that your carpets are the biggest filters in your home?

Fan Is Set To “On” Instead Of ” Auto”

This setting is found on your thermostat.

If you have the fan in your furnace set to “on”, this means that the fan will run continuously until you turn it off at the thermostat.

Some people prefer this setting as it helps filter the air in the home and also helps with air re-circulation as well.

By setting your fan to “auto” your fan will only run when your air conditioner or furnace is cooling or heating your home.

High MERV Rating Filters

You may know these types of filters as HEPA filters as well.

These high performance filters are able to trap an exorbitant amount of material down to a few microns in size (thickness of a human hair).

If you have a high quality HEPA filter you may notice they get dirty a bit faster than normal filters as they are filtering a lot more of the particles in the air.

This is really more of a give and take scenario as these types of filters are doing you a great service by cleaning the air in your home thoroughly.

Most high-quality media filters should last you between 6-12 months in a normal home.

Pet Hair Problems

If you have a few furry friends in your home, this could definitely be a cause for fast dying furnace filters.

As your pet’s hair sheds, it is sucked into the return air vents and recirculated back to the furnace where it will clog up your furnace filter over time.

Vacuuming on a regular basis will certainly help with this issue.

Having your air ducts cleaned is another great way to remove hair from your HVAC system.

Leaky Duct Work

If you have holes in your air ducts that are in unconditioned spaces (i.e. attics, crawlspaces ect) this could definitely cause filter issues.

Air and dust from inside these unconditioned spaces can be sucked into the duct work quite easily.

According to ENERGY STAR, a typical house loses 20-30% of air through leaks in the duct work and poor duct connections.

Leaving these untreated can not only kill your furnace filter quickly, but also result in higher energy bills.

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