Russell's Heating & AC
Jul 16 2018

Can a Furnace Suck Up a Filter?

The weather is cooling down from the summer highs now that we’re in mid-October, and soon heating systems will begin coming on during the evenings. For the majority of people, this means furnaces, which are the most popular kinds of home heating systems across the nation.

Before you start using your furnace this coming winter, make sure that you arrange for heating maintenance for it—and that you also take the time to change the filter. The air filter that protects both the furnace and the air conditioner will have collected plenty of debris over the summer, and if it isn’t changed on a regular basis, it can lead to problems. We’re going to look at the most extreme case in this post: the furnace’s blower fan sucking up the air filter.

Can this really happen?

Yes, unfortunately. A filter that becomes heavily clogged can actually collapse because of the strain from the blower fan on it, leading to it falling into the blower motor itself. This can seriously damage the motor and requires immediate repairs from professionals.

However, this problem can also happen for other reasons. Extremely thin and inexpensive filters are more likely to be pulled into the blower motor, especially if they have creases in them. Clogging in the filter will increase the chance that this happens. It’s a good idea to purchase sturdy filters made from polyester rather than the thinner kind made from fiberglass. (As an extra benefit, you won’t need to change polyester filters as often, and this makes up for their higher cost.)

The problem with a collapsing filter can also occur if the filter is put in backward, since the support for the filter will be on the wrong side. Make sure that you read over the instructions carefully on the filters to see that each filter goes in correctly. Check to see that the filter is also set in its slot properly. If you have questions about the filter, ask your technician during regular maintenance. Our team will be glad to help you.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning serves Hemet, CA and through the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities.

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