Reasons Why Your Furnace is Overheating

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If you’ve been experiencing a burning smell in your home, hearing strange humming sounds while your furnace is operating, or encountering issues with your furnace shutting off before a cycle is completed, your home’s furnace may be overheating. These are all symptoms of a furnace engine that’s working too hard.

These issues can lead to:

  • Reduced household efficiency
  • Less warm air throughout your home
  • Expensive repairs
  • Even fire hazards in some cases

If you suspect furnace overheating is occurring in your home, it’s crucial to fix the issue to avoid serious damage to both your home and your budget. However, before you can fix the problem, you have to find the cause.

Why Your Furnace is Overheating

There are several reasons your furnace might be overheating, some much easier to remedy than others.

Poor airflow

Restricted airflow is the most common cause of overheating in furnaces across the United States. Poor airflow to and from the furnace can be attributed to a dirty air filter.

When you forget to change your air filter for extended periods of time, dirt, pet hair, dust, and other debris build up on the surface and make it difficult for air to move through the screen to reach the furnace.

This causes the fan to work harder to pull air in, causing the furnace to overheat. Fortunately, while it’s one of the most common furnace problems, poor airflow is also the easiest to fix.

Simply replace your air filter and ensure you’re replacing it as instructed on the filter’s packaging in the future to ensure proper airflow to your furnace’s most vital mechanisms.

Short Cycling

When your furnace turns on and off in quick succession or turns off before the heating cycle is complete, it’s known as short cycling. This is a prominent symptom of an overheating furnace, as modern furnaces often turn off prematurely to prevent the motors from overheating and causing a serious fire hazard.

However, the short cycling itself can stress the motors out with constant signaling to turn off and on, which can cause them to begin overheating. Short cycling can be caused by having a furnace that’s too big for your home or by a malfunctioning thermostat. In general, it’s best to call in a team of professionals like those at The Weather Changers for a thorough inspection and repair if you’re encountering issues with short cycling in your home.

Internal Debris Buildup

If your air filter stays clogged for an extended period of time, some of the dirt and debris will likely get pushed through the filter. It can then accumulate on the surface of your furnace’s internal components, including the coil. When this occurs, it prevents the heat exchanger from moving heat.

The blower, too, can become blocked, forcing the fan to work harder to get hot air through your home and leading to overheating issues. A thorough clean is necessary to remedy this issue, another job that’s best left to the professionals during a scheduled maintenance stop.

Mechanical Failure

Another one of the most common furnaces overheating causes is mechanical failure. Over time, furnaces (especially those that have been poorly maintained) experience operational wear and tear. Crucial components wear out, inevitably leading to overheating and other serious issues. Electrical wiring and the blower fan within your furnace are subjected to a great deal of stress during operations and are often the first to begin causing overheating issues.

The best way to fix this issue is to have the professional from The Weather Changers inspect and repair the faulty part. However, as is the case with many of your home’s most crucial appliances, a dose of prevention is the best medicine. Scheduling regular tune-ups and inspections from your local Aurora professionals is the best way to ensure all of your parts stay in top shape and don’t contribute to potential overheating.

When to Trust the Professionals

Sometimes, it’s easier and more cost-effective to handle simple issues such as a clogged filter on your own. However, when it comes to your furnace, it’s usually better to err on the side of caution to ensure that the job gets done right and that you stay safe while it gets done. Working with electrical wiring and many parts of your furnace pose a serious risk if you don’t have the proper tools or training.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to know how to properly repair the parts to avoid future fire hazards and other overheating issues. For example, a cracked heat exchanger is a serious problem that you should always leave in the hands of a professional due to the potential for leaking gas that could cause serious health issues or even death.

Issues such as these have to be handled correctly the first time to prevent dire consequences throughout your home. If you’re dealing with damaged parts or other furnace issues, trust the best professionals in Aurora to get the job done for you.

Furnace Repair Vs. Replacement

If your overheating furnace is due to expensive mechanical failures, it may be time for you to consider whether it’s better to repair your existing furnace or replace it with a new model entirely. On average, a standard home furnace has a lifespan of approximately 15 years. Extending a furnace lifespan can be done with proper, regular maintenance and tune-ups. If your furnace is newer than 15 years, it’s likely worth your while to invest in repairs rather than automatically jumping for a replacement.

However, if your furnace is older than 15 years, it’s likely outdated, and your home’s efficiency may benefit from investing in a brand new furnace installation. Likewise, if the estimated cost of repairs for your furnace is over 50 percent of its current value, it may be a good idea to invest in a replacement instead. Often this depends on the cost and cause of your overheating problem, and an experienced furnace repair professional can help you sort through the pros and cons of repairing versus replacing your existing furnace.

Don’t Wait for an Inspection

If you’ve been encountering issues with your furnace overheating, it’s crucial to reach out to the professionals as soon as possible. While the issue could be as simple as a dirty coil, sometimes issues caused by mechanical failure can have substantial negative consequences for your home’s overall safety.

If a cracked heat exchanger coil is to blame, gas may leak from the furnace to the rest of your home. This could cause deadly CO2 poisoning if left unchecked for too long, so it’s best to call in the pros for repairs as soon as you notice an issue of this caliber.

Schedule an Inspection Today

Whether you’ve been noticing symptoms of furnace overheating in your home or you simply want to get on top of your furnace maintenance before it’s too late, we’re here at The Weather Changers to ensure you get the quality service you deserve.

We’re a family-owned and locally-operated business that’s been serving residents of Aurora, CO, and the greater Denver area since 2009, and over the years, we’ve mastered the art of furnace care. Call us at (303)-340-0077 today to learn more about our furnace repair, tune-up, and inspection services, as well as how we provide superior service to homeowners throughout Aurora every day.

Featured Image: Virrage Images/Shutterstock

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2021/04/16