Heating systems experience problems now and then. They’re very reliable overall, but issues do arise. While it could be as simple as a failing thermostat or an electrical fault, occasionally, it can be far more complex. For example, if your gas furnace doesn’t shut off, a variety of factors could be causing the problem. Here are some things you can do to help your furnace work properly again.
Check the air filter
We talk about this simple fix all the time. Dirty air filters create problems for countless homeowners and their HVAC systems. Here’s why. A clogged filter restricts airflow, making your furnace work harder and run longer to reach the set temperature. This increases wear and tear on your system, increasing the likelihood of a breakdown.
A filter blockage can also make your furnace overheat and shut down for a while to cool off. After that, it’ll keep repeating this process. This problem is known as short cycling, and it can sound like your system is running all the time. In addition to wearing out your furnace much quicker, it’ll drive up your heating bill and make your home uncomfortable.
We recommend replacing your filter every three months, and every month if you have pets or a large family. If you can’t remember when you last put in a new furnace filter, pull it out and take a look. If it has a gray, fuzzy look to it, it’s time to pop in a new one. Also, remember that the arrow on the filter should point toward the furnace. A backward filter can cause problems just like a dirty one.
Have a look at your thermostat
Your thermostat is the “brain” of your heating and cooling system. Quite simply, it tells the equipment when to turn on and turn off. Unfortunately, it’s often the problem when your furnace keeps running and running. Sometimes, getting the heat to turn off when it should is as easy as setting your thermostat correctly.
Ensure the fan is set to Auto. Your thermostat includes two settings – On and Auto – that control your heating system’s blower motor, also called the fan.
On means that the furnace blower will spin continuously. This constant air movement helps with heat distribution, but – it’ll also increase your power bill and cause more wear and tear on your furnace.
Auto tells the fan to operate only when the furnace or air conditioning systems engage. When the system is off, the blower is off.
If your thermostat is switched to On, it’ll sound like your furnace is constantly running, but it’s really just the furnace blower you’re hearing. Changing it to Auto should fix the problem – and it’ll also help you save money on your energy costs.
Double-check the temperature setting. If your furnace is working overtime, another likely suspect is the target temperature you have your thermostat set to. If it’s significantly higher than the surrounding air’s temperature, your furnace will seem to run endlessly.
Remember, when it’s frigid outside, your furnace has to operate much more than usual to keep your home cozy. No matter how well-insulated your home is, the large difference in temperature between the cold air outside and the warm air inside will cause your home to lose heat and your system to run often to keep the place warm.
As an easy test, you can reduce the thermostat’s temperature setting to match the room. Wait a few minutes, and you should notice that the furnace turns off because it’s already at the target temperature.
Replace your thermostat’s batteries. If you have a programmable thermostat, it’s probably battery-powered. You can try replacing the batteries to see if that solves the constant-running problem. If your furnace doesn’t turn off, change your thermostat’s mode switch from Heat to Off.
Turn off the power
OK, let’s say your thermostat seems to be working, but your furnace still won’t turn off when it should. It’s time to cut the power to your furnace. There’s two places you can shut off the power to it – at its dedicated power switch and at the breaker box.
First, look for the power switch near your furnace. It’s just like a light switch and is usually mounted on or very close to the unit. Flip it down to shut off the power.
If that doesn’t turn your furnace off, go to your breaker box and find the breaker marked “furnace.” Flip the breaker switch to shut off the power. Your furnace should be off now. If you have to kill power to your system at the breaker, call our expert team immediately, as you probably need professional furnace repair.
Troubleshooting furnace problems can be annoying, especially when it affects your comfort and heating bill. There’s a reason why we say we’re the experts in our field. You can rely on our trained and certified technicians to resolve your problem quickly and correctly. Call us at 844-HEY-NEIGHBOR to book your service appointment today!