When Matt and I started remodeling the Rebel house, we noticed two cold air returns. A cold air return is the ductwork that carries room temperature air back to the furnace for reheating. The filter in the cold air return is used to trap any dust or debris in the air to keep the system running at its optimum performance. If the filter is too dirty and not replaced as it should be (usually monthly), it can result in the deterioration of the system. Plus, it runs a lot harder (basically because it cannot breathe) and uses a lot more power.
Upon further inspection, one of the returns was no longer in use because the furnace system had been replaced and moved to the attic. When I removed the grill where the filter is housed, I found this:
Obviously, that filter hadn’t been changed in quite awhile! Maybe the system was replaced because of this? Hard to tell until I opened the grill where the filter for the newer system is housed and found this:
Yep. That is the filter for the newer system! It would only be a matter of time before the newer system quit. Our theory is this – the old system was replaced because it died due to a dirty filter. Hmmm…
When filters are dirty and the system can’t breathe, a vacuum is created behind the filter causing the filter to vibrate. This in turn loosens dust and debris right into the system. Before we can turn this system on, we will have to clean the condensers an make sure there is no additional debris in the system where it does not belong.
There is something my dad says on a regular basis (besides “When all else fails, read the instructions” and “Good work takes time” referring to procrastinators) – “Five minutes on the front end saves five hours on the back end”… so in other words, a pack of filters costs less that $5.00 compared to replacing a furnace unit which will cost several thousand!
Until next time,