Every furnace contains an air filter, which is installed in the return duct for the system. This filter is designed to capture any dust or other debris that might make it into the system and damage it. The filter is quite good at protecting the system, but it must be cleaned every few months in order to remain effective. If the air filter isn’t cleaned or replaced often enough, it can cause major problems for the health of the system. Let’s take a look at what happens if you don’t take proper care of your furnace air filter.
If the air filter is not cleaned out often enough, it will become so clogged with debris that sufficient air will not be able to pass through it. This cuts off the air flow to the furnace, which traps heat inside the system. As the temperature inside the furnace rises beyond safe levels, the limit switch will activate and shut the furnace down to prevent it from becoming damaged. This is just a temporary solution, however, since the limit switch can’t actually fix the root problem. When the furnace cools off enough, it will start up again and overheat again. This cycle of starting up, overheating, and shutting down will continue indefinitely.
This behavior puts a massive amount of strain on the furnace, far more than it was ever designed to handle. If the problem isn’t fixed quickly enough, the added wear and tear will make breakdowns far more likely and shorten the overall lifespan of the furnace. If your furnace is turning itself on and off every couple of minutes, you should shut it down manually and call for repairs immediately.
If you are in need of furnace repairs, call Sound Heating. We offer furnace repair services throughout Seattle, WA.