How a Clogged Air Filter can Damage Your Furnace

When you take your car in for a maintenance check, the technician will often ask whether you would like a new air filter. When an air filter becomes clogged with dirt, the car is no longer fuel-efficient. As it turns out, this is the same for a furnace. A furnace filter does not exist solely to improve the air quality in your home. In fact, filters were not first added to furnaces for this purpose.

Find out more about the damages that may occur with a clogged air filter in this guide, and call Intelligent Air Services when you notice trouble with your furnace in Austin, TX.

Furnace Filters

Originally, furnace filters were added on in order to keep the unit from becoming damaged. The blower fan of your unit sucks in air from your home and moves it into the system so that it can heat up before returning to the home. If debris were to get into the unit as the air was sucked in, it could get into the fan motor, block the heat exchanger, or even present a fire hazard in some cases. Hence, it was decided that a filter would be an appropriate means of controlling it.

But if the filter becomes too clogged with dust and debris, this can also present some problems. The main issue is that there is not enough air moving into the unit. If air cannot easily pass through the filter, the necessary airflow is hindered. The system is designed to accommodate a certain amount of air. Without enough air blowing past the heat exchanger, the furnace plenum could become overheated.

If the plenum of your furnace were to become overheated, it wouldn’t be a safety issue. In most cases, a safety switch takes over—called the furnace limit switch—and it shuts off the system in order to protect your home when the temperature in the plenum is above a preset setting. Of course, this means you are without heat. Your system may start up again once the unit cools down, or you may need a technician to come to check it out.

Take preventive action by changing your filter every couple of months. And call Intelligent Air Services today for repairs and more for furnaces in the Austin, TX area.