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How Dust and Dirt Affect Your Heater

opening-furnace-cabinetYou might think that the air filter in your home takes care of everything in terms of the health and performance of your heater. But this is simply not always the case. Airborne dust and debris are something you want to filter out of the air for the health and wellbeing of your family, of course. But you should know that it can have a major impact on the performance of your heating system (and air conditioning equipment) as well.

Today, we want to explain how dust, dirt, and debris can be harmful to a heater. Make sure to change your filter regularly and contact technicians for maintenance every year to prevent this from becoming a problem!

The filter

You might think that a clogged air filter is primarily an issue for your allergies. And if you’re not prone to allergies, you might ignore the filter altogether. But it does so much more than this! The filter is meant to prevent debris from pummeling the blower unit and doing major damage, but it cannot prevent damage if it’s dirty.

A dirty filter can be so clogged up with dust and particulate that air cannot move through it at all! This prevents your system from working properly, which means you don’t feel as comfortable as you should and may pay higher bills. It can also cause furnaces to overheat and AC coils to freeze, which is why you should always change the filter every 1-3 months.

The motor

Without a filter in place, debris could do damage to the blower motor. Unfortunately, this sometimes happens even with a filter. Dirt can become trapped in the blower motor, jamming it up or forcing it to slow down. In extreme cases, dirt has been known to wear out the motor entirely.

The burners

The burners in a furnace can suffer from some scary problems in regard to dirt. It can coat the burners and make it more difficult for a flame to ignite. This causes gas to buildup upon startup, so that when the burners finally do ignite, a miniature explosion occurs (likely causing you to hear a loud bang or pop).

This is not an issue that should be ignored. That miniature explosion can cause the heat exchanger to slowly form a crack, which may allow carbon monoxide to lead into the home. This is a toxic gas and something you want to avoid no matter what. That’s why annual maintenance of your furnace is of primary importance!

The flame sensor

Another component in a furnace affected by dirt is the flame sensor. This component is meant to protect your home. Should the burners fail to ignite, the sensor will notice the lack of a flame and shut off your gas valves for protection.

If the flame sensor is dirty, it may not detect the flame even when there is one. The furnace will shut off—all thanks to a little layer of dirt!

Schedule repairs or routine maintenance for your heating in Colorado Springs, CO with the technicians at Robbins Heating & Air Conditioning.

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