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How Dirt Affects Your Heating and Cooling Systems

filter-change-ductsWe know you do your best to keep your home clean. But as much as you dust the ceiling fans or remind your children not to track mud in on their shoes, you cannot keep dirt out of your home altogether. Dust and dirt collect on surfaces and also become airborne, no matter how hard you try to prevent it. Thankfully, there’s a filter in place in your home heating and air conditioning systems to prevent dust from harming your systems…for the most part.

Dust is a major source of trouble for air conditioners and heaters, even when you have an air filter in place. In fact, sometimes the filter is the reason for the trouble in the first place!

The Trouble with Dirt and Debris for the Fan Motor

When forced-air heating and air conditioning systems were first designed, engineers ran into a problem. The blower fan that sucks in air and redistributes it around the home could also suck in debris, which could hit the blower unit and damage the components. That’s why the filter was designed—in order to protect your AC and heating systems.

Unfortunately, the filter does not always prevent this entirely (though it does help in a major way). Annual maintenance allows for a thorough cleaning of the fan motor to keep dust and debris from jamming up the mechanism.

Problems Resulting from a Dirty Filter

We have established that a filter plays a vital role in keeping your AC and heating systems healthy—but only so long as you keep it clean. A dirty air filter is no help to anyone.

  • Dirty filters keep air from flowing through the system, leaving you much less comfortable.
  • With a dirty filter, your fan has to work harder to suck in air, raising your monthly bills.
  • More wear-and-tear on the system means you might have to make frequent repairs.

The Flame Sensor and Burners

Two components of a gas heating system, the flame sensor and the burners, can also be affected by a bit of dirt. With the gas burners, the problem can be serious. Burners that are clogged up with dirt are unable to ignite right away, which can cause a small amount of gas to buildup. When the burner does finally ignite, this build up creates a tiny explosion, resulting in a “bang” or “pop” sound that could also rattle the heat exchanger and allow for carbon monoxide to seep from it.

The flame sensor issue is a bit less serious, but it can cause your heater from working altogether. The flame sensor is meant to shut off the gas valves in case there is no flame from the burner, to keep you safe. When it’s dirty, the sensor may detect no flame even when there is one, keeping your system from running.

Why You Should Schedule Annual Maintenance

Prevent these problems and more by scheduling maintenance for your heating and air conditioning systems twice a year. Technicians can clean out the fan motor, dust off the flame sensor, and let you know if anything within your system is in need of repair. Our maintenance plan also includes a 10% discount on all repairs!

Contact Ace Air, Inc. for heating repairs or heating maintenance in Merced, CA.

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