Tips for Homeowners this Winter
Check your air filter and make sure that it is clean. This winter has already taken its toll on many systems and dealing with the harsh elements is no easy task.
If you have a heat pump system and have a very dirty air filter or evaporator coil, your system pressures will rise drastically and can quickly lead to evaporator coil leaks. These issues can cost anywhere from $400-1,900 to repair. In many of the cases we have seen, a simple filter change could have prevented the system failure and costly repair.
If you have a forced air furnace and your air filter is dirt, then similarly to the heat pumps, the temperature in the furnace rises and can even short-cycle if the limit switch cuts the furnace off due to high operating temperatures. These temperatures can eventually lead to cracked heat ex-changers. These repairs can be costly and often lead to replacing the entire furnace.
A good filter should prevent particles from passing through and getting into the system. Pleated filters generally do a good job of keeping the system clean. Fiberglass filters that are very thin can let a lot of debris get by and can lead to costly repairs.
Dirty filters also put a strain on the blower motor in any system, which eventually can lead to overheating and blower motor failure. Manufacturers put ratings on their air filters which give an idea of how long someone can use one, but keep in mind that these are only guidelines. Each home is different and a 90-day filter may only be good for 30 days in a return located close to the floor in a high-traffic area. Pets in the home can shorten filter life as well.
So regardless of your system type, do your self and your system a favor and use good quality air filters and keep them changed regularly.