Many homeowners don't give their home's heating system and furnace much thought unless it's winter and they need the heat. Unfortunately, this dismissive perspective often leads to a heating system that, at best, works inefficiently. At worst, it won't work at all. One of the simplest care tasks that your home's heating system needs actually turns out to be one of the most important, too. Here's a look at what you need to know about what can happen if you fail to have your home's heating system cleaned regularly, including air filter replacement.
Excess Dust Issues
When your furnace isn't properly cleaned, soot buildup and dust particles will pass from the furnace through your air vents. Ultimately, those dust particles end up distributed throughout your home. This can not only prove to be a nuisance for cleaning, but it can also result in increased irritation and symptoms for those with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues.
Even simple tasks like having your air filter changed can help improve this. If you fail to change or clean the air filter on a regular basis, that filter will get clogged with dust, and it won't be able to filter out any further particles from the air coming into your furnace. This increases the debris particles in the air, which worsens the dust problem in your home.
Heat Exchanger Damage
The heat exchanger in your furnace relies on a consistent, sufficient flow of air coming into the unit for proper operation. That incoming air serves to help keep the heat exchanger cooler, which reduces the risk of thermal damage to the unit. When your furnace hasn't been cleaned, and the air filter is dirty, you won't get sufficient airflow through the heating system to keep that heat exchanger cool.
This causes the heat exchanger to overheat, which can lead to a thermal shutdown of your furnace. In severe cases, if the heat exchanger gets exceedingly hot, it can crack and then must be replaced. This is a costly repair that can be easily avoided with the proper maintenance.
Complete Furnace Failure
Left unaddressed, the early signs that your furnace needs cleaning can actually progress to a point where your furnace will no longer fire at all. The debris buildup, soot residue, and dust accumulation in the system can clog the pilot light, damage the blower fan, and cause some of the safety sensors to trip, shutting the furnace down completely until it is serviced.
Talk with a local heating services technician today for more information and to schedule routine maintenance for your home's heating system.