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Help – My Furnace Won’t Stop Running!

furnace repair massachusettsYour furnace has a simple job to do: to heat air and distribute it throughout your home until your living space reaches the temperature you’ve set on your thermostat.

But sometimes your furnace doesn’t know when to quit.

If your furnace continuously runs even though the thermostat temperature has been reached – or if it keeps running without ever reaching that temperature – it will cost you in both higher heating bills and shorter equipment life.

How To Troubleshoot A Furnace

Here are some guidelines for troubleshooting a continuously running furnace.

If your furnace runs but never reaches the right temperature:

  • Re-set your thermostat – One reason why your equipment will keep working is because you’ve set a temperature that is higher than your equipment can reach. Remember: heating systems deliver heat at a constant rate, which means that setting your thermostat higher will not make your home get warmer more quickly! Make sure your thermostat is set to a temperature it can actually reach (the U.S. Department of Energy recommends 68°F in winter).
  • Check/change air filters – A clogged furnace air filter will reduce airflow, preventing warm air from ever reaching your living space. Check your filter once a month during winter, changing or cleaning it (depending on the model) as needed.
  • Check your ducts – Your heating system’s ductwork will develop leaks over time, keeping as much as 15 percent of the air you payed to warm from ever reaching your living space. Seal visible ductwork leaks and consider having your ducts evaluated and sealed by professionals every five years or so.
  • Air seal your home – One reason why your furnace may be laboring is because your home is working against it: air leaks around windows, doors, and within walls and ceilings can keep your heating system on a treadmill, struggling to keep up with a rising heating load. Sealing windows with plastic, caulking cracks around window frames, add weatherstripping around door jambs, installing doorsweeps on exterior doors, and adding insulation to your attic and basement will go a long way toward keeping cold air out and warm air in your home.
  • Consider upgrading your furnace – One possible reason for your furnace running constantly is that it is mis-sized for your home and heating load. If you know that the time is coming to replace your heating system, consider reaching out for an evaluation of your home’s needs from a trusted heating professional.

If your furnace runs even after reaching the target temperature:

  • Check the blower motor – To get air from the furnace to the vents, your heating system uses a blower, which pushes heated air through your ductwork (if you have a boiler and radiators or baseboards, this does not apply). That blower can operate whether or not the furnace is actually producing hot air, which is exactly happens when you set your thermostat’s heat mode to “on” rather than “auto.” If your furnace is constantly running, check the settings on your thermostat; if it is set to “on,” switch to “auto” and see if the problem goes away.
  • Check your thermostat – If switching from on to auto didn’t fix the problem, check your thermostat for things like frayed wires or worn batteries. If you change the batteries doesn’t fix the problem, you’ll probably have to install a new thermostat.

If none of these solutions fixes your problem heating system, contact a professional at W.H. Riley & Son for heating service. Our expert technicians will diagnose the problem and fix it quickly so you can enjoy the cozy warmth of your southeastern Massachusetts home.

For expert heating oil and propane furnace repair and installation in southeastern MA, trust the pros at the W.H. Riley & Son. Contact us today to learn more!