What to Do When Your Heater Wont Turn Off!

It's not unheard of for heating systems to have a problem once in a while. It could be as straightforward as a broken thermostat or an electrical problem. If your gas furnace won't turn off, here are a few steps you can take to get a correctly working furnace again.

Check the Air Filter

A dirty air filter causes issues for numerous homeowners and their HVAC system. Here's why. It limits airflow, making your furnace work harder and run longer to meet your desired temperature.

This increases usage on your furnace, as well as the odds of a breakdown and early failure.

It can also make your furnace overheat and shut off for a time to cool off. Then it will keep duplicating this process when your furnace switches on. This is called short cycling. In addition to wearing out your furnace more quickly, it can drive up your heating bill and make your home feel uncomfortable.

We encourage replacing flat filters once a month and pleated filters every three months. If you can't remember the last time you replaced your furnace filter, remove it and hold it up to the light. If you can't detect light through your filter, it's too dusty and you should replace it.

If the matter was connected to a clogged air filter, putting in a clean filter should fix this common problem when your heat won't turn off. If not, we suggest checking your thermostat settings next.

Check the Thermostat

Your thermostat runs your furnace and basically tells the unit when to turn on and off. It's often the problem when your furnace won't stop running.

Sometimes having the heat turn off is as simple as changing an incorrect thermostat setting.

Ensure Your Thermostat is Set to “Auto”

Your thermostat has two settings, “auto” and “on,” that control your heating system's blower motor.

“Auto” indicates the furnace blower will only run when the furnace does.

“On” means the furnace blower will operate constantly. This constant air flow can help with heat distribution but will also increase your power bill and lead to wear and tear on your furnace.

If your thermostat is set to "on," it will seem like your furnace is not shutting off, but it's really just the furnace blower you're hearing. Switching it to "auto" should solve the problem. It will also help you spend less money on your energy costs.

Check Your Temperature Setting

If your thermostat won't turn off heat, check the temperature setting to the room temperature. If it's higher than the room air temp, your furnace will keep operating until it hits your desired temp.

Remember that if it's very cold outside, your furnace will have to run much longer than normal to keep your home warm. This is because of a large temperature difference between the cold air outside and the warm indoors.

As a test, you can try decreasing the thermostat to match the room. Then, wait a couple of minutes. This should make the furnace shut off in a few minutes.

Put in Fresh Batteries

If you use a programmable thermostat, it's likely battery powered. You can test replacing the batteries to see if that resolves the issue. If it doesn't or if there's wiring to your electrical system, shift it to "off."

If your furnace won't turn off after you set it to "off," you will need to cut the power.

Turn Off the Power

Thermostat seems to be working fine but your furnace still won't turn off? There are two spots you can shut off the power to your heating unit: at the breaker box and at its specific power switch.

  1. Head to your breaker box and locate the breaker marked "furnace." Move the breaker switch to the right to shut off power.
  2. Next, search for the specific power switch to your heating system. It looks like a light switch and is located on or near your furnace. Push the switch down to shut off power.
  3. Your furnace should be shut off now.

If you had to turn off your system at the breaker, call us at 804-548-4480 for professional service, as you may need furnace repair.

What Causes a Furnace to Keep Running?

Sometimes fixing this problem can be as easy as changing your air filter or changing thermostat settings. In other situations, you might need a professional when your heater won't turn off.

Fan Limit Switch Needs Replacing

The furnace fan limit switch controls your furnace's blower motor. If the switch goes bad, it might seem like your furnace running nonstop, even though just the blower is going.

You might see a furnace error code if there's a problem with the limit switch. Your furnace will speak using a flashing red light on the front of your heating system.

Our Experts can diagnose and correct any problems you're having with your furnace blower motor. Often this can involve replacement parts, like the control board, faulty wiring or the fan switch itself.

Defective Thermostat

Like other things in your home, your thermostat can wear out as time passes and need to be replaced. If it's time for a new one, ask us about installing a smart thermostat.

These thermostats make it easy to save energy, since they develop an energy-efficient heating and cooling schedule based on your preferences. Plus, you'll be able to set and monitor your thermostat from just about anywhere with your phone.

Leaky Air Ducts

Your furnace relies on ductwork to circulate hot air to vents across your home. If your home or ductwork is older, your furnace might be running all the time since the ductwork is leaking hot air in the attic.

Diagnosing this leaky ductwork and other airflow problems can be tricky to resolve on your own, since it's hidden behind walls and ceilings. Our Experts can help with diagnosing and handling any air duct repair service that you need.

Depend on Our Experts for All Your Furnace Repair Needs

Troubleshooting furnace issues can be inconvenient, especially when it impacts your comfort, energy efficiency and heating bill. When it comes to furnaces, there's a reason why we say we're Experts in our field. You can count on our ACE-certified technicians to resolve your problem quickly and affordably. And what's even better, we stand behind our HVAC system repairs with a 100% satisfaction guarantee for one year.* Contact us at 804-548-4480 to schedule your appointment today.

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