Return to the Heating & Air Conditioning Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Can I get by without a furnace filter?

Posted by catfishsam (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 24, 07 at 8:24

My furnace is located in a partial basement. It is becoming difficult to walk up and down the stairs to change the filter.

So I was wondering what would happen if I just pulled the furnace filter out and stopped using one?

Would that hurt the furnace in any way or would the house just be more dusty?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Can I get by without a furnace filter?

eventually you could plug the fins of your ac heat exchanger with dirt.not a good idea.


 o
RE: Can I get by without a furnace filter?

The dust will also collect on the blower motor and act as an insulation which will cause a premature death to the motor because the housing cannot give up its heat and the vent holes will be blocked. It can also collect in the curved vanes of the blower wheel and build up to a point where you may notice a considerable loss of air flow. This also makes the furnace run hotter which is not a good thing for the heat exchanger. The dust burning off on the heat exchanger may also cause an unpleasant odor in the space. If you have only one or two returns you might try talking to an A/C contractor about installing some return air filter grills. Then you can change your filters from upstairs.


 o
RE: Can I get by without a furnace filter?

Are you changing the filter every month because that is what you were told to do or are you changing the filter because it is dirty? Hold a new filter up to the light and then a dirty filter and you can see the difference.
What type/quality of filter are you using? You may get by with a cheaper fiberglass type and go 2 or 3 months between changes or you might check with a contractor about changing to a 4" filter that may only need changing once or twice a year.


 o
RE: Can I get by without a furnace filter?

If your condition is so poor to the point where negotiating stairs for a simple filter change becomes a major problem you should really consider some serious lifestyle changes.


 o
RE: Can I get by without a furnace filter?

mr.havac, I only have one return. That sounds like a good idea to have a return air filter grill installed upstairs.

Since I have never heard of that before, maybe you could explain a little more about how they are made and if they will look okay upstairs?


 o
RE: Can I get by without a furnace filter?

Catfishman:

Mr. Havac gave you some good advice to which I have to add one caveat: How are your return air ducts installed in the basement?

In the old days before efficiency became the norm, return air ducts often used the floor support trusses as return passageways. Subfloors of that day were usually 2x6's or 2x8's that the finish floor sat on.

The spacing between the subfloor planks always allowed some basement air to flow into the return air ducts.

With the filter mounted at the furnace, dust and dirt would still get caught by the filter. With the filter installed on the one return in your living quarters, any dirt coming in between the subfloor boards will still get sucked into the furnace and eventually cause some or all of the problems spelled out here.

You could buy some cans of expanding foam and seal up any part of the return air ducting that might draw air from the basement, but anything short of new well sealed return air ducts is marginal at best.

Good luck!

Fairyprincess


 o
RE: Can I get by without a furnace filter?

catfishsam, the filter grill takes the place of the return air grill that is in there now. It is hinged on one side and the opposite side has clasps to keep it closed. You just open the grill part and place a filter behind the grill section. The frame that the grill section is attached to is made in such a way that the filter stays in place when the grill is closed. They are made up in most of the common dimensions of standard return grills so a replacement is usually pretty easy.
And don't listen to that trash about a lifestyle change just because certain tasks become a little more difficult as time goes on. It's an easy thing to say when someone is young and healthy. I'd like to make a counter comment here on your behalf but I think it best if I hold off.


 o
RE: Can I get by without a furnace filter?

Fairyprincess, I checked it and my return is a large sealed pipe so I am okay there. Thanks for the information though since I wouldn't have thought to check it.

mr.havac, thanks for that information. I think that is what I will do. It will be much easier to change those filters that way.

Our Life style does change as we get older, but hopefully not any more than necessary.


 o
RE: Can I get by without a furnace filter?

Like the old saying catfishsam, "If I knew that I was gonna live this long I would have taken better care of myself when I was younger" LOL


 o
RE: Can I get by without a furnace filter?

mr.havac, that is so true. LOL

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Heating & Air Conditioning Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here