Photo Friday - HVAC Filter Horrors

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HVAC filter, very dirty

Every once in a while I like to post some of my favorite pictures of atrocities I've seen in houses, for example the duct stump in the Little Shop of Duct Design Horrors. Today, the subject is HVAC filters, specifically the large pleated filters that can be a great addition to an HVAC system. As you can see below, though, HVAC design isn't the only thing that matters. Execution and maintenance are pretty important, too.

The Dirty HVAC Filter - You should change your filter at least once every ten years. Just kidding. These large pleated filters can last for months, but it depends on the duct design and duct leakage.

The Falling Down HVAC Filter - Some of these pleated filters have combs to separate the pleats. If a sloppy HVAC tech slams the filter into the housing roughly, sometimes the whole thing falls down.

HVAC filter, falling down

The Crushed HVAC Filter - I guess the person who installed this one was in a hurry and forced it in the wrong way.

HVAC filter, crushed

Have you looked at your filter lately?


Paul McGovern

Can't remind people enough about the wasted $$$ generated by dirty filters. I hate to admit it, but a few weeks ago, I began noticing that my bedroom door, when slightly ajar, was closing on its own. Thought that was strange. On giving it some thought, I checked the filter & it was filthy. Supply and lack of return was creating a positive pressure differential. DUH

Thomas Edgar

Oh my God! I see filters like these in the pictures everyday! Cleaning your air filters is one of the most important things that people can do to protect their HVAC system. I keep telling them that, but they always forget! One of the top reasons for air conditioning repair calls is clogged air filters.