What Does It Mean When Your Furnace Keeps Shutting Off?

what does it mean when your furnace keeps shutting off

Although your furnace may be out of sight and out of mind, it keeps you and your family comfortable during brutal winters by delivering a consistent source of warm air. You expect your furnace to turn on when you need it, so what does it mean when your furnace keeps shutting off?

If you’ve ever experienced this problem, you know how frustrating it can be to deal with a faulty furnace. As Hodgkins’ expert heating repair team, our JC Heating & Cooling experts want to help keep you and your family comfortable year-round. Below, we review the different reasons for your furnace to shut off and how to resolve the problem.

The best way to address any heating problem is by calling the professionals. Call (708) 350-6765 to reach our team of HVAC experts and schedule a repair.

Your System Has a Dirty Air Filter

A dirty filter is one of the most common causes of furnace problems. A clean air filter collects dirt, debris, dust, and other allergens, allowing your HVAC system to provide cleaner, healthier air for your home. However, over time, the air filter can become dirty as it collects dust, so you need to replace it regularly to protect your home’s indoor air quality and the furnace’s overall efficiency. 

If your furnace keeps shutting off, check the air filter. If it’s visibly dirty, replace it with a cleaner one. Ideally, you should replace your air filter every 90 days or more frequently if your home has pets, children, or anyone with respiratory issues. 

Your Thermostat Isn't Working

Think of your thermostat as the brain of your HVAC system. It tells your furnace how warm to heat your home, so if it does not work properly, neither will your furnace. 

If your furnace constantly turns off, you could have a broken thermostat resulting from faulty wiring. Your thermostat could also simply be too old and need replacing. In either situation, you should contact an HVAC professional to inspect your thermostat and furnace. 

However, old age isn’t the only reason to replace a thermostat. To display an accurate temperature reading, your thermostat should be away from heat sources — not in the kitchen or direct sunlight. Otherwise, it will read a higher temperature than what’s accurate, and your furnace may shut off prematurely even though the rest of your home is chilly.

If you suspect a faulty thermostat, change out the batteries. Otherwise, leave it to the professionals. 

Your Furnace Is Too Big for Your Home

Many homeowners believe that bigger is better when it comes to heating systems, but this is far from the truth. An oversized furnace often short cycles because it heats up your home too quickly. 

Why is this a problem? By heating your home in shorter cycles and shutting off more frequently and abruptly, your furnace will experience quicker wear and tear. As a result, it won’t last as long as a properly sized furnace, and you’ll end up dealing with a premature replacement as well as significantly reduced energy efficiency.

The only way to fix this issue is by installing a new, smaller unit. An HVAC technician can help you determine the exact size furnace your home needs for maximum efficiency and performance. 

Your Furnace Has a Dirty Flame Sensor

When asking the question, “What does it mean when your furnace keeps shutting off?” it’s crucial to consider the flame sensor. This essential device improves furnace safety in gas furnaces by detecting flames from the burners or pilot light. When it doesn’t detect any flames, it closes the furnace’s gas valve to prevent a gas leak in your house. 

Over time, as your furnace continues to run, this safety device can become dirty and covered in soot. A dirty flame sensor cannot accurately detect flames and causes shorter furnace cycles, as it will shut off the gas even if flames are present.

Like most furnace repairs, this is not a DIY situation. Only a furnace professional should clean and fix a flame sensor. 

You Have a Faulty Blower Motor

Heating and air conditioning systems have a blower motor, which circulates heated or cooled air throughout your house. Although not often, your furnace can run without the blower motor being on. When this happens, air won’t blow over your system’s heat exchangers, and your furnace will shut off. 

You can determine whether a faulty blower motor is the reason for your furnace’s short cycling by putting your hand near the air vents. If you feel little to no airflow, you likely have blower motor problems.

Your System Has a Blocked Flue Pipe

The flue or vent pipe has the important job of venting exhaust away from your home. If something blocks the flue pipe, it leads to a buildup of hot gases, which then causes your furnace to overheat and shut off. 

To determine whether you have a blocked flue pipe, turn off your furnace. Then, go outside and look for the flue pipe, which is often near your furnace on the side of the house or possibly on the roof. Taking a quick look will show you if any leaves or debris are blocking the vent pipe. 

However, don’t attempt to clean this on your own. Call a heating professional to locate your home’s flue pipe and remove any blockages. 

Our Top-Rated Furnace Repair Service

What does it mean when your furnace keeps shutting off? With so many potential reasons for your furnace to shut off, it’s not always a straightforward solution. Our team has years of experience providing top-rated heating services, so we can help you find the problem and determine the best solution. 

Reach Out Today for Furnace Service in Hodgkins

With 24/7 emergency heating service, you can always rely on our JC Heating & Cooling experts to be there for all your heating needs. We know what causes a furnace to overheat and when to replace a furnace that won’t stay on.

Call us at (708) 350-6765 today to schedule service or get answers to questions like, “What does it mean when your furnace keeps shutting off?”