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How Much Money Is That Dirty Furnace Filter Really Costing You?

Many times when an HVAC company visits your home for boiler repairs it may beckon you back to the 5th grade and an incessant lecturing from a teacher. The furnace repair person isn’t just towing the company line when they stress over and over the importance of keeping a clean furnace – they’re trying to protect you. Sure you’ll promise to change the filter and inspect the components regularly but that 3-month oath turns into a 3-year absence in no time. The truth is, failing to replace a $4 furnace filter can get pretty costly for boiler repairs and all types of furnaces.

Higher Utility Bills – $82 / Year

On average leaving dirty air filters, in check will cost about an extra $82 in utility bills a year. An air filter covered in grime and debris restricts air flow and causes the furnace to run longer to reach the required temperature. The longer a furnace filter is left unchecked, the higher those costs rise and coupled with poor insulation or gaps by windows and doors it’s not too hard to imagine $200 lost per year. Couple that by ten years and you’ve wasted more than half the price of a new furnace.

Early Furnace Replacement – $5,500

According to Home Advisor, the average cost to install a furnace is around $5,500. If you leave a dirty filter installed, that makes the internal components like the blower motor work harder resulting in costly boiler repairs or the early failure of the unit. Covered by warranty you ask? According to most HVAC manufacturers, the warranty is void if you fail to tune-up your furnace annually, or willfully disregarding maintenance requirements will void the warranty leaving you out in the cold, literally.

Lost Wages $136 / day

If an individual makes $17 an hour, a dirty furnace filter could directly contribute to them missing out on $136 per day. Allergens and dander distributed throughout the house coupled with mildew that forms from running the furnace harder can be devastating in the winter when the immune system is prone to breaking down. Work is the last thing on your mind when your eyes are tired and scratchy, and your head feels like a boulder. Sure you have personal time or vacation days but wouldn’t they be better spent on a beach somewhere? Sick days are just the tip of the iceberg as missed time can lead to lost promotions or even being let go.

Home Damage – Unknown

A constant supply of dander-filled, grimy air circulating through the home is detrimental pretty much to the whole house. Computers, televisions, and appliances will break down earlier, and countertops and walls will start to show a greasy residue.

It doesn’t necessary mean that if you go three months and one day without changing your air filter you’ll suddenly be unemployed with a broken TV sitting in a house with frozen pipes. However, if you continually put off changing the filter, eventually your boiler repairs will add up.