What Happens if Your Furnace Air Filter Becomes Clogged

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A furnace needs a lot of maintenance to keep it operating smoothly. Most of that maintenance is done by professionals, but there is one thing that you can personally do to keep the interior of your furnace healthy. That thing is: clean the air filter. If you don’t clean or replace the air filter every couple of months, it’s going to become clogged. That’s when the problems can start.

Short Cycling

The air filter is designed to protect the furnace from any dust or debris that might blow in through the ducts. All air that flows into the furnace passes through the filter first. This is a pretty effective way to keep the furnace clean, but there is one weakness: the air filter cannot get rid of the debris that it collects. This is what causes it to eventually become clogged, severely lessening the amount of air flowing into the furnace.

Lack of air flow to the furnace will trap the heat it generates inside it, instead of circulating it throughout the house. As the temperature of the furnace rises, the limit switch activates and shuts it down in order to protect it. Once the furnace has had time to cool off, it restarts and attempts to complete its heating cycle. The problem is that without solving the source of the overheating, the furnace will simply overheat again and shut down again. This cycle will continue until the air filter is replaced.

Periods of prolonged short cycling significantly increase wear and tear on the system, making problems more likely to occur. If the issue isn’t dealt with, the lifespan of the furnace could be shortened significantly. This is why you need to call for repairs as soon as you notice that your furnace is short cycling,

Bell Plumbing and Heating offers a full range of furnace repair services throughout Centennial, CO.

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