My boyfriend and I constantly forget to change the furnace filter on our heating equipment.
Once a month you need to change the air filter.
This is because after a month of use, the filter is clogged with dust. The air filter is literally the only line of defense against dust getting in your system. Once it gets clogged, all the dust runs into the heater. Why is this super bad? Well first lots of dust in the heater means the indoor air quality is going to be dusty. Breathing in dirty air is really bad for you and can make you sick. Expect to sneeze, cough and get headaches all from this. A bigger issue is that the dust makes the heating equipment work harder. With a layer of dust in it, the heater has to power though longer and work harder to provide heating. The worst thing ever is that if the heater works too hard, it will overheat. Then the furnace heat exchanger could crack and release carbon monoxide in the home. Or the furnace could catch on fire due to the dust. So obviously changing the air filter once a month is a big deal. The two of us just can’t remember though. We tried setting alerts on our phones, putting it on a calendar and taking turns doing it. Nope, we always forget to do that one, but super important job. One of these days we are going to come to a burnt house or die from carbon monoxide poisoning since we were too lazy.