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Can Dust Hurt Your HVAC System?

There is no home that doesn’t have some form of dust or dirt in it. Even if you clean every day, just living will produce dust and grime that you’ll have to clean again. And, while we’re concerned about our valuables and our sanitation, there are other ways that dust can infiltrate and harm our homes.

One of those ways is in your HVAC system. While the furnace can (and will) burn up the dust, the system itself can create more problems than just dust in the system. That’s one reason why you should keep your system clean.

Dust in the Filter

Every good system should have a filter. (No, seriously: every system should have a filter. Dust in the filter means dust that’s not in your system or circulating through the air.) This is a great thing for you and for your health. The allergens and contaminants that end up in your filter don’t end up in your furnace or recirculated into your home.

But, don’t forget that the filters need to be changed. Even though the dust isn’t in your system, too much dust can make your system work harder to pull the air it needs for optimal operation into the system. Worse, the fan can burn out and require service.

Also, while we’re on the topic, don’t use the reusable “high-efficiency” filters, either. They might seem like a great way to save money, but they’ll end up costing you in the long run. Remember what we just said about the system not being able to pull the air that it needs? Well, those “high-efficiency” filters restrict airflow just as much as a clogged-up filter, leading to the same problems. Don’t put one in your system, or you’ll end up paying for it later.

Allergens and Your Health

Using a filter is important for your health, too. There are ways that the system can help you healthy, and one of those ways is by removing contaminants and allergens from the air. Without a filter, the furnace might burn those things up, but not all of them. Instead of the circulating system keeping you warm, it could end up keeping you sick instead. That’s not a good thing for you or for your home.

Not to mention that those things getting into your furnace can cause a buildup in the machine, which requires cleaning. While the odors are unpleasant, it’s not as big a hazard to your health as allergens and contaminants are, but it’s something to be aware of. Besides, no one wants to smell burning dust.


Now, if the furnace happens to be in a really dusty area (such as a woodshop—which is not a recommended place), there are some dangers to be aware of. While a furnace is a safe appliance, tested and made safer by a number of technological advances, there’s no escaping the fact that a majority of them still have open flames and can set fire to heavy densities of dust. An excessive amount of dust can cause major issues. Be careful about all kinds of dust!

Get Your System Cleaned Out

Finally, don’t let your system build up dust and debris. At best, it’ll cause major nuisances in your home. At worst, well, you could end up having a fireball in your home (in the case of the furnace being in a woodshop). Be careful and clean out the system, and you’ll have a happy home.

We’re ready to take your call at any time. We do duct cleaning and furnace maintenance. No matter what your furnace’s problems are, we’ll fix them and keep it running like it’s supposed to.

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