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Why Is My Furnace Overheating?
Posted: March 1, 2018 by Andy

A burning smell or unexpected HVAC system shutdown are strong indicators of an overheating furnace. Call us immediately!

By "overheating" we don't mean that your furnace is keeping your home warmer than you want it to be. We're talking about a mechanical problem with your system. If your furnace cycles off and won't turn back on again or if it smells like something is burning in your home's vents, your furnace may be overheating.

Today's furnaces feature a built-in safety mechanism that shuts your furnace down before any of its components are damaged by overheating. However, even with this safety measure in place, an overheating furnace is a major inconvenience. If your furnace is overheating, it could be due to one or more of the four reasons below.

Advanced age

The lifespan of a furnace averages from 15 to 25 years. While a quality furnace that is properly installed can last for a long time, it won't last forever.

Older furnaces don't have the same security features as newer models. It's important to know the age and model of your furnace. Over time, as your system reaches the end of its life, its components may wear out and cause overheating. As a general rule, it's wise to consider replacement if your home heating equipment has been in operation for more than ten years. Why? A new furnace performs at a higher efficiency than your old one while keeping your home and your family as safe as possible.

Airflow restrictions

This is the first thing to investigate when experiencing furnace overheating. A clogged or dirty air filter is the primary cause of airflow problems in any HVAC system.

Furnace filters are designed to trap dirt, dust mites, and other debris to keep these airborne contaminants from being recirculated in your home. A clogged air filter forces your furnace to overwork, and it attempts to compensate for the airflow blockage. This can cause your furnace to overheat and shut itself down. Check your air filter monthly and replace it when it's dirty.

Dirty system components

Logically, if your air filter is dirty, your other furnace components are probably dirty as well. A neglected air filter will cause dust and dirt to accumulate on your furnace's working parts, which will, in turn, cause problems. For example, when the blower motor gets dirty and is unable to ventilate itself adequately, it will fail, and the heat that your furnace generates won't be distributed throughout your home, leaving you cold.

Component failure

Over time, a furnace's motor, electrical wiring, and other components can experience excessive strain and eventually fail. Your furnace's components work together to provide heat - if one fails, it can cause your system to overheat and shut down.

System overheating is only one reason why it is very important to have your furnace inspected annually. Regular, professional maintenance will keep your entire HVAC system in good operating condition during the winter season and will prevent premature failure.


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