Why Is My Furnace Constantly Running?
A common question we hear from Ogden, Utah homeowners is: “Why won’t my furnace turn off?” The answer to that common question depends on exactly which part of your furnace won’t shut off—either the blower (fan) or the burners. These two situations are handled very differently! While any maintenance or repairs should be conducted by a furnace repair service professional, sometimes there are simple solutions you can tackle at home. To help you make the best decision, we’ve put together an easy troubleshooting guide to check before calling a pro.
Furnace Fan Troubleshooting Guide
When the weather is cold outside, it’s normal for your furnace to be blowing more than usual. However, it should not blow nonstop. Here is a simple checklist to troubleshoot a furnace fan that is constantly blowing:
Check your thermostat.
- This first step is the simplest. Most thermostats have three settings: ON, AUTO, and OFF. If your fan is set to ON, the fan will constantly blow. Turn it to AUTO and see if that solves the problem.
- If that isn’t the issue, try changing your thermostat to the OFF setting. If the fan doesn’t stop when you do this, there could be a malfunction with the thermostat or relay switch. If this is the case, you will need to call a professional for repair help.
Check the pilot light.
- It’s easy to know if your pilot light is out—air will be coming out of the vents, but it won’t be hot. In this situation, you can try to relight the pilot light yourself. If the light keeps going out or won’t come on at all, it’s best to contact a furnace repair expert to assess the problem.
What to Do When Your Furnace Burners Won’t Turn Off
How can you tell if there’s a problem with the burners? Furnaces are supposed to blow hot air into your home (that’s how it keeps you warm!) but there may be a problem if your unit is blowing hot air and won’t stop. Common causes of this include:
- Dirty air filters. When an air filter isn’t replaced often (ENERGY STAR® suggests changing it every month), dirt, dust, and allergens can accumulate in your system and worsen the air quality in your home. A dirty air filter also makes it hard for air to pass through it and heat your home. This can cause your furnace to constantly run but never be able to match the temperature on the thermostat, which wears your system out faster. If you suspect this is your furnace’s problem, you should schedule a tune-up to maximize your heating system’s efficiency.
- Thermostat is too high. We all want to be warm and toasty this time of year, but on a cold Ogden, Utah night, it can be hard for your furnace to keep up with a high setting on the thermostat. Try turning the thermostat down a few degrees to give your furnace a break. This could benefit your family, too! In fact, studies have shown that keeping the home a little cooler at night (between 60 to 68 degrees) is the optimal temperature for a good night’s sleep.
When You Should Call a Professional for Your Furnace
If nothing in the troubleshooting guide above solved the problem with your furnace’s blower or burners, it’s time to call a professional. In a lot of cases the issue can easily be remedied with a simple tune-up service, but heating systems are complex and can pose a safety hazard to those without the proper training and skills. Reach out to a professional as soon as you suspect a problem with your furnace—waiting can damage to your system or cause costly mid-season breakdown.