How Ash From West Coast Forest Fires Can Affect Your Furnace

This fall, wildfires have been ravaging the West Coast and spreading rapidly across the state of California, destroying practically everything in its path. This past September, the drought-stricken state has seen a total of 12 fires, two of which are considered the biggest in the state’s history.

In the aftermath, hundreds of properties have been destroyed, forcing thousands of individuals to flee their homes and towns.

But unfortunately, even those who were spared are not entirely safe from the fires’ damage. Rather, if proper precautions aren’t made, homeowners could be facing thousands of dollars in furnace repair bills.

According to Jamie Schultz, general manager of Park Mechanical Plumbing, Heating, and Air, ash from recent fires might still exist in your filters. If those filters aren’t changed quickly, you might be repairing a furnace sooner than you bargained — and at a very high price ticket.

The officials with the California Air Resources Board report that the ash in certain counties, such as Calaveras and Lake, has landed in parts of the Central Valley of California. Once homeowners turn on their furnaces, this wayward ash could flow through your home.

“As things like this happen, the more particulate are in the air, the easier your air filters are going to get dirty,” Shultz told CBS Sacramento.

And if the filter remains dirty, the problem could worsen and alter the effectiveness and performance of your furnace.

Changing the filter on your furnace costs a mere $10 — around 1000 times less than repairing a furnace would ever cost.