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David Brown Heating & Cooling, LLC Blog

Is My Furnace Air Filter Enough to Clean the Household Air?


Your furnace comes equipped with an air filter that’s usually found at the point where the return air duct connects to the furnace cabinet where the blower fan is located. Sometimes the filter is behind the vent cover of the return air vent. If the cabinet contains both the furnace and the air conditioner, the systems will use the same filter, which is why the filter is sometimes called the HVAC filter. 

You might assume that this filter’s primary purpose is to help provide cleaner, healthier air for the house. After all, why else have a filter in place? The truth is different, however. Although the furnace filter can provide some minor benefit to your home’s indoor air quality, this isn’t what it is designed to do. If you’re looking for better indoor air quality, you can’t rely on the filter and may need to look into other options.

The Actual Job of the Furnace Filter

If the filter doesn’t clean the air, what does it do? In short, it protects the furnace and the other components of the HVAC system. 

The blower fan in the HVAC system circulates air through the house, drawing air from the room through the return air ducts and then sending the heated (or cooled) air back to the rooms through the supply ducts. The air coming through the return ducts contains many particles such as dust, lint, and dander, all of which can harm internal parts of the furnace, blower, and AC. Dust on motors will cause friction that will cause the motors to burn out. Grime and dirt on the gas burners can cause them to struggle to ignite. General dust contamination can lead to the furnace wearing down faster and draining more power. The filter stops this from occurring. 

Because the furnace filter isn’t self-cleaning, it needs to be changed for a clean filter every one to three months. This is an important maintenance task to stay current with, since a clogged filter can cause numerous problems—including lowering the indoor air quality.

Air Filters for Indoor Air Quality

If you’re looking for better indoor air quality, you can have special filters put in place. These filters don’t go into the standard slot where the furnace filter sits, but instead are integrated into ductwork where they can do the most good. You’ll need professionals to take care of installing these filters. Not only do you need their expertise and tools to put the filters in place, but you’ll need them to determine how powerful the filters must be. If the filters are too strong, they’ll end up ruining the airflow through the ventilation system, harming comfort and potentially damaging the HVAC system.

You may also want to have an air purification system installed to help eliminate many minute contaminants that can get through filters. Our technicians are glad to help you find the ideal indoor air quality systems in Dickson, TN that will provide your family with the freshest and cleanest air possible.

When you need great heating help, call David Brown Heating & Cooling, LLC. A Name You Can Trust.

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