The Telltale Signs That the Air Filter Needs to Be Cleaned

We often need to pay more attention to the importance of the air quality in our homes, not realizing that it can have a massive impact on our physical health. Poor air quality can bring about several short-term and long-term health issues. The health effects of bad air quality can be far-reaching and detrimental, from headaches to asthma.

If you want to keep your HVAC system running efficiently and ensure high air quality, it is vital to ensure that your system’s furnace filter is clean. Cleaning your air filter is essential to HVAC maintenance, but when should you do it? Below are telltale signs that you need to clean them:

Visually Obvious Dirt

Have you ever noticed that your air filter looks dirtier than usual? It is likely time to clean them! While it may seem daunting, cleaning your air filters is essential to HVAC maintenance. Properly maintained air filters can help your system run more efficiently and reduce energy costs. 

When should you clean your air filter? Generally speaking, you should inspect your air filter every month and clean it when it looks dirty. If you already see dirt on the filter, it is time to clean it. It is essential to note that the frequency of filter changes will vary depending on your filter type and the environment in which you live. 

When cleaning a reusable air filter, you should use a vacuum cleaner and a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt and debris. You may use a mild soap and water solution if the filter is filthy. After cleaning the filter, let it dry completely before putting it back in the system. 

Frequent Allergy Attacks

When an air filter is clogged, it restricts the airflow through the HVAC system. It causes the pressure within the system to increase, which can lead to the system pushing air out of the area that it usually would not. It means that dirt, pollen, dust, and other allergens from the outdoors can make their way into the home.

If your air filter is clogged, it can also cause other problems. Your HVAC system may have to work harder to produce the same level of airflow, which can lead to increased energy bills. Additionally, it can put extra strain on the system, leading to a shorter lifespan.

The good news is that it is easy to avoid these problems. All you need to do is check your air filter regularly and clean it when necessary. Depending on your system, this may be as often as once a month. 

Peculiar Smell

Are you noticing a burning smell coming from your HVAC unit? If so, it could be a sign that the air filter is dirty and clogged. Clogged air filters reduce the airflow and make the system work harder, leading to overheating and a musty, burning smell. To ensure optimal performance, it is essential to keep your HVAC unit’s air filter clean and free of debris.

When the air filter becomes clogged with dirt and debris, it can cause the HVAC system to overheat. It can lead to a burning smell, as the components of the system are not designed to withstand high temperatures for extended periods. Additionally, the air filter can become saturated with dust, which can cause a musty smell in your home.

The best way to avoid a burning smell from your HVAC unit is to inspect and clean the air filter regularly. If it has been a long time since you cleaned it, it might be wiser to ask for help from a professional HVAC maintenance team.


Essential HVAC maintenance, especially air filter cleaning, is necessary for everyone’s health and the efficiency of the HVAC system. With regular air filter cleaning, you can be sure that your HVAC system is running smoothly and efficiently, as well as preventing the spread of airborne contaminants. So, take the time to maintain your HVAC system, and you will reap the rewards that come with it.

If you are looking for a seasoned crew that offers top-notch HVAC maintenance, you should turn to Legacy Heating. We will clean the air filter efficiently and perform other maintenance to ensure that your HVAC system will last a long time. So, schedule a session now!

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