If your home heating system hasn’t been checked or had basic maintenance performed on it for ages, it can cause problems beyond fuel inefficiency. Even if your heating system seems to be working OK for now, there’s a good chance that its filter and possibly its ducts are filled with dirt and dust. Here is how this can affect you:
A dirty air filter can no longer remove particles, allergens, dust mites, and pet dander from the air you breathe. This reduces your air quality. Instead, these contaminants get into the components of your furnace. While this makes them run inefficiently a dirty air filter also reduces airflow through your heating system. One noticeable effect of this is the reduced flow of heated air into your home, which leaves you feeling cold.
Heat that doesn’t flow into your home gets backed up in the furnace instead, and overheats critical components such as the heat exchanger. With enough overheating, the heat exchanger can crack and release furnace exhaust fumes into your home. These fumes could include deadly carbon monoxide if the furnace isn’t burning fuel efficiently. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and invisible gas that causes serious health effects and fatalities. Its effects are especially serious in the winter when the home is sealed tight against the cold weather.
Over time, the same kinds of allergens, irritants, and dust that clog your filter can build up in greater quantities in your duct system. These contaminants form a dense mat-like covering on the duct’s internal surfaces. The air that continually blows over these “mats” delivers their particles into the air of your home. This problem is especially severe in the winter when little fresh air gets into your house. In the summer, mold growth within the ducts contribute to health problems, especially for people with asthma and allergies.
If you see puffs of dust coming out of your heater vent when you turn on your heating system, it indicates high levels of dust accumulation in your duct system. Return air registers with dusty buildups on their outer surfaces are another indication.
In addition to the potential health and safety issues discussed, the reduced airflow caused by both dirty air filters and ducting is also hard on the mechanical health of your home heating system. Play it safe by getting your home heating system periodically inspected – call us today at (210) 659-5801 for more information! We’re an indoor air quality company in Bulverde, TX.