My Furnace Stops Running

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On a cold winter night few things are better than the comfort that comes with a properly functioning furnace. But when the system isn't working and the air in the home begins to cool, a malfunctioning furnace suddenly becomes a serious concern. You'll need to figure out why the furnace stopped running or will not come on and what you need to do to get it going again. Many causes of furnace shut down or failure to run may be simple problems that you can fix yourself.

Power Supply

  • Electrical overloads are not uncommon, especially in cold months when many people have their heat turned up higher than usual. When this happens, you may experience tripped circuit breakers in your home. If your furnace suddenly stops working properly, it could mean the breaker simply needs to be reset. Repeated tripping could mean you are using too much electricity at one time.

Thermostat Settings

  • The furnace knows when to turn on and off based on the temperature you set at the thermostat. If you like your home 72 degrees, simply set the thermostat at 72, and the system will turn on when the air temperature drops below 72 and turn off after it exceeds 72. But if you don't have your thermostat set correctly, you may not have any heat at all.

    Ensure your thermostat is set at a temperature higher than the current room temperature or it will not come on. Also see that the switches are turned on. Generally a "heat" option will allow a central unit to run. Otherwise, it will sit in silence. This simple error can end up costing you a lot if you don't double check and instead end up calling a technician to set your thermostat for you. It's probably going to be a bit embarrassing too.

Service Switch and Outside Disconnect

  • Near or on the furnace itself there is a service switch that powers down the entire furnace unit. Repairmen use this switch when working on the system so they can turn the power on and off easily to test the system. If the switch has somehow been turned to the "Off" position or if the switch has gone bad, the furnace will not run, according to the Online Tips website.

    On a central heating system the outside portion of the system has a disconnect switch. Like the service switch inside, this switch must be turned on for the system to work correctly and circulate the air. Test the switch to ensure it is on and that it is effectively starting and stopping the outside fan. If the switch isn't working, this is a simple fix by a repair technician.

Overheating

  • Overheating can cause a furnace to shut itself down as a preventive measure against fire. Clogged air filters can cause overheating and maybe a fire hazard. Ensure the filter on the intake of your system is clean and allows air to freely pass through it. Depending on the amount of use and the environment the furnace is in, you may need to change this filter quite often. You may need to change the filter monthly to prevent this kind of overheating.

    Overheating can also be caused by high gas pressure. If the gas sounds like a jet engine when running, it may be set too high. Hire a technician to adjust the pressure on your unit.

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