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Is Your Furnace Filter Black?

Why Is My Furnace Filter Black?

Have you ever removed an old furnace air filter to change it, only to find that it has turned black? Generally, your furnace filter should collect a small amount of grey dust over time; a black furnace filter is often not a good sign. Though the most common cause for a black filter is candle soot, it may also signal a more serious issue in your home.

Soot is most commonly created by burning candles or firewood inside the house. You may notice that wherever candles are burned, small amounts of soot may collect is on walls near ceilings and corners where there is minimal insulation. This is also a good indicator that there is soot collecting on your furnace, its filters, and the blower motor as well. Paraffin wax and synthetic fragrances not only produce soot, which clogs air filters, but are also known for causing poor air quality in the home.

If you enjoy burning candles in your home, simply keep the wick trimmed short. This will help to minimize the amount of soot produced. Reducing the amount of soot in your home will help your air filters to last longer and improve the air quality in your home.

In some cases, carbon monoxide can also be the culprit. Carbon monoxide is formed by incomplete combustion. A defective furnace, fireplace, or other combustion exhaust (like from your vehicle) produces airborne carbon that collects on the air filter and the blower motor. Carbon monoxide in your home can cause serious health problems. If you find a black air filter, ensure that your carbon monoxide detectors are working and have your furnace, fireplace, and other combustibles inspected immediately.

If you find a black filter in your furnace, be sure to contact RCM Heating and Cooling to inspect your furnace immediately, so that we can uncover the source of the problem. Please call us at (815) 485-6525 and follow the steps mentioned above to ensure that your home and family are safe.