Is Your HVAC Furnace Overheating: Three Telltale Signs

Jan 7, 2020

Any electrical appliance can become overheated, including your furnace. When this happens, it can mean real trouble for your HVAC system. It can also create a serious fire hazard for your home. Everyone in your household should know the three warning signs that most commonly indicate that your furnace is overheating. If anyone notices any of these issues, you will need to call for assistance immediately:


1. A burning smell is noticeable when your furnace is running

When you first switch on your furnace in the cold-weather season, there is often a burning smell present for 30 minutes or so. This is normal because your HVAC system is heating up for the first time the previous winter season, and the dirt and debris that has settled in it during the time it sat dormant is burning away. This can be easily avoided by having your HVAC system professionally cleaned and inspected prior to the arrival of cold weather and the need for your furnace to be on. The cleaning will include all ductwork and will remove the dust and foreign matter from your furnace and its airways. If the burning smell does not disappear within about 45 minutes of your furnace being started, there may be an issue more serious than a little dust burning off. Turn off your furnace and call New Albany Heating & Cooling at 614-636-5002 right away. We will send one of our professional HVAC technicians to examine your HVAC system and make any necessary repairs.


2. Strange sounds are coming from your furnace

Your furnace and HVAC system should never make loud or unusual noises. It will run quietly and smoothly when it is working as it should. Any sound coming from it is an indication that there is some type of issue somewhere within the system. One specific sound is always cause for concern: a loud humming sound. This indicates that the motor is becoming overheated and will stop working very shortly. There are a few reasons the motor can become overheated, including:


• The furnace’s air filter needs to be replaced

If the air filter in your furnace isn’t kept clean by being replaced regularly, it will become clogged with dirt and all sorts of pollutants, which will make it impossible for clean, fresh air to flow freely through it and into your home. Your furnace will become overworked and overheated because it will keep trying to force more air through the clogged filter. The motor to become overheated and stop working altogether. Check the air filter once a month during the season when your heating system is in use and replace it at least once during the season.


• Closed off air vents

People will close off the air vents in their homes in rooms that are not frequently used, like spare bedrooms, attics, basements, etc., to decrease energy use. What most people don’t know is that doing this actually causes your heating system to work even harder and use even more energy as it struggles to heat your entire home. Your home’s heating system is in place based on what is needed to adequately and effectively heat your home based on its size, so by closing off the vents in some parts of your home, you are creating more work for your furnace as it attempts to heat the space it is designed to heat. This causes “short cycling”, meaning that your furnace starts and stops more often than it is supposed to do. This can cause permanent damage to your HVAC system.


• Manually changing the thermostat settings frequently

If someone in your home is always changing the temperature setting on your thermostat, this can cause problems as it disrupts the heating cycles in which the furnace is designed to work. Readjusting the temperature setting frequently puts additional wear and tear on the components of your heating system. If your thermostat’s settings are altered often, it is a good idea to install a programmable thermostat. The modern design provides the technology to adjust the temperature setting without undue stress to the heating system. A programmable thermostat also provides the convenience of being able to change the temperature in your home when you are away with an easy-to-use app that can be downloaded onto your smartphone. This will save on energy bills as well since you can reduce the temperature when no one is home or during periods of mild weather.


3. Your furnace isn’t completing full cycles

Once your furnace begins to run, it should not stop right away and then start up again a few moments later. If this occurs, it means that the system is overheating. The cycles will end abruptly in an attempt to stop the problem from happening and causing damage to your HVAC system. This occurs when your furnace’s heat exchanger becomes overheated to a severe level. The furnace’s high-limit switch automatically shuts the system off. If this happens, shut off your furnace completely and call us for help right away. One of our certified HVAC technicians will inspect the system, identify the problem, and complete any necessary repairs as quickly as possible.


If your HVAC system is showing signs that it is not working correctly, call New Albany Heating & Cooling at 614-636-5002 or visit our website at https://newalbanyheatingcooling.comschedule-now/. We will have one of our expert HVAC technicians come out and inspect your system as soon as possible to make sure it is in perfect working order throughout the cold weather season and year-round.