In the dead of winter, in the middle of the night, an HVAC crew was called in to investigate the demise of a furnace. The murder weapon was a dirty, neglected air filter. The photos provided here offer proof in yet another open and shut case. Exhibits marked “A”, on the left, were taken of the customer’s air filters. Exhibits marked “B”, on the right, are entered as visuals for comparison. They represent what an air filter SHOULD look like. Unfortunately, this was not an isolated case.
Making light of a serious situation is not the intention. Attempting to get your attention IS. As pointed out in the last monthly issue, and countless times prior, it is vital you change or clean your filter on a regular basis. Not only will it save your equipment, it will save money on your utility bills. The easier your system “breathes”, the easier it operates, and will cost you far less in the long run.
Think of it this way. You and your furnace have one important thing in common: the need to breathe to survive. The filter’s job is to catch dirt, dust, and debris, and functions as its “respiratory system”. But your furnace lacks communication skills. It cannot cry out for help. Instead, it works as hard as it can until the very last possible moment. Then it collapses. According to Energy Star, the number one reason a furnace fails or breaks down is due to neglect.
Looking again at Exhibit “A” and acknowledging that your furnace needs to breathe – realize that it simply cannot when the filter looks like the photo. Ultimately, you are the one who would suffer, not only financially, but by breathing in all of the contaminates which a dirty filter harbors. Your furnace does double duty. It not only heats and conditions your house, but it also moves air and all of the pollutants floating through the atmosphere. Appealing to your health consciousness, having a clean furnace filter certainly contributes to cleaner air.
Did you know that one study revealed that indoor environment is up to five times more polluted than that of the outside? More frightening are the research statistics showing the human body’s inability to fight off allergens and viruses as compared to those of previous generations. It’s no wonder that advertisements for allergy medications now address both indoor and outdoor usage of their products. We believe this makes an even stronger case for doing what you can to ensure you and your family do not neglect the source you rely on for your indoor comfort needs.
In the Barrington case initially cited, the homeowner could not remember the last time the furnace filter had been replaced. By the looks of it, it was a few years and at least one flood ago. The negligence cost him dearly. The furnace was dead, and for one simple reason – forgetting to change the filter. It’s a shame, because the filter is the cheapest part you can replace on a system, and better yet, can be done without a service call.
We’re standing on our soap box again hoping you heed our advice. Leave the dangerous and complicated components up to us, but do yourself a favor and check your filter. Unsure if it is dirty or clean? Replace it, just to be safe. And healthier. And more solvent for the upcoming holidays.