Wondering What Happens When You Forget To Change The Furnace Filter? What Every Homeowner Should Know

Changing the furnace filter is a home maintenance task that takes only seconds to perform and can be easily managed by any adult, and most teens as well. Yet, this very simple task is one that many homeowners regularly forget to do.

Even worse, some may feel that that changing the furnace filter frequently is really not even necessary. If you are a homeowner who struggles to remember to change their HVAC filter and wonders if doing so is even a big deal, the following information can help you understand why it is vitally important. It will also give you some helpful tips for remembering to do this basic home maintenance chore on a more regular basis. 

The cost of a dirty furnace

There is no real drama associated with operating a furnace with a dirty filter. Instead of warning bells or a total refusal to run, your furnace will likely keep chugging along, doing its best to meet the heating demands you place on it. But subtle changes will begin to occur that will become problematic over time. These include: 

  • the furnace will begin to cycle more frequently, using more electricity or fuel than it should
  • your heating bill will begin to creep up a little each month, even when when you have not changed the thermostat settings or other usage habits
  • the components inside will begin to experience additional wear and will need to be replaced sooner that they otherwise might

Operating a furnace with a clogged, dirty filter is particularly hard on the furnace fan, because it must work much harder to force the heated air out through the ducts. If your furnace is still under warranty, failing to change the filters as directed may also void the coverage. 

Tips for remembering to change the filter

Now that you have a better understanding of why it is necessary to change the filter, you just need to remember to do it on a regular basis. Some effortless ways to encourage you to do this include: 

  • subscribing to a filter service that regularly delivers a fresh, properly sized filter to your doorstep at preset intervals
  • setting a reminder on your phone or computer calendar
  • opting to change the filter on set dates, such as the first Saturday of every month, so that it becomes a habit

If you have been guilty of neglecting to change the furnace filter in the past, having your furnace inspected, cleaned, and serviced professionally by a reputable furnace repair service can be helpful in addressing any signs of wear that may have already occurred. 


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