Top Reasons Your Furnace Won’t Turn Off

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Furnaces provide homeowners with steady, reliable heating for many years. These systems are dependable but not immune to issues and can encounter certain complications. A common heating concern is the failure to power down as expected. Understanding common issues helps determine when to engage an HVAC expert for professional help. This article explores typical causes and potential remedies for a furnace that won’t turn off.

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Furnace Won’t Turn Off: Causes & Solutions


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A simple thermostat problem can keep the furnace from powering down, especially if the thermostat is positioned on ON instead of AUTO. When this happens, adjusting the switch to AUTO can resolve the issue.

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Wrong Temperature Setting

If you set the thermostat to an excessively high temperature, the furnace can continue to run without turning off. When this happens, get the advice of your trusted HVAC professional regarding suitable temperature settings for your unit. It is a common misconception among homeowners that raising the thermostat to higher levels will accelerate home heating. However, this practice merely increases energy expenses. 

If the temperature is not lowered, it could result in an uncomfortably warm environment. In most regions, the furnace’s temperature setting should not surpass 75°.

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Damaged Thermostat Wiring

If your thermostat is over a decade old, it may suffer from damaged wiring. Pest infestation, like rodents in the walls, could damage the wires connected to the thermostat. To determine whether any wiring damage exists, get an HVAC expert to do a thorough inspection.

Refrain from testing or repairing thermostat wiring on your own. DIY repairs can cause further issues. Mishandling this task could result in damage to the component. The thermostat wiring is interconnected with your home’s wiring system. Incorrect handling can lead to electrocution upon contact. 

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Air Filters

image of a furnace filter replacement

A furnace will continue to run if the filters are dirty or clogged. Changing the air filters regularly will prevent this problem. If the air filter is hard to reach, have a professional HVAC technician do it for you. Hiring an HVAC contractor can guide you through the process and the appropriate filter size to enhance airflow. They can help you make sure you are using the correct air filter for your system.

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Furnace Relay Switch

A furnace that does not shut down is an indication that there is a problem with the relay switch. It may be jammed or needs a reset. Get an expert technician to evaluate the condition of the switch, perform a reset, or change the jammed relay switch.

Another issue with relay switches that is a cause for concern is when the contact arcs weld themselves and become pitted. This prevents the contacts from closing properly, causing the furnace to remain active. One telltale sign of this issue is seeing a spark in the furnace.

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Furnace Gas Valve

After years of operation, the gas valve will start having issues, like getting stuck. When the valve gets stuck, the furnace will continue to generate heat, using more propane or natural gas. Even when the furnace is turned off, warm air continues to circulate throughout the house, leading to elevated temperatures. Your home can experience excessive heat, regardless of current temperature settings.

If this issue coincides with a gas leak, it can threaten your safety and that of your loved ones. An escalated gas flow drives up gas expenses and increases the risks of fires, explosions, and exposure to carbon monoxide. Contact a reliable HVAC contractor immediately to resolve the gas valve issue to ensure the safety of your home and its residents.

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Leaky Air Ducts

image of hvac ducts that have hvac ductwork leaks

A telltale sign of leaky air ducts is uneven heating throughout the home, with individual rooms maintaining different temperatures. Another sign is an uptick in dust accumulation. An unexpected spike in energy expenses also indicates the presence of damaged, leaking, or deteriorating ductwork.

These issues stem from mismatched sizing of the ductwork for the heating unit or the home itself. The presence of pests or animals that create nests within the ducts also exacerbates air leaks and heat loss. The best approach to address these issues is to hire an HVAC professional to do a comprehensive inspection, followed by necessary repairs or replacements.

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How to Reduce Common Furnace Problems

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There are steps you can take to minimize furnace issues. Getting the help of expert technicians to perform the HVAC service guarantees accurate implementation without invalidating your warranty. They can make sure that all maintenance and repair procedures align with the manufacturer’s stipulations outlined in the product warranty. HVAC professionals have the training required to perform the services accurately the first time. 

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Annual Heating Maintenance Services

furnace tune-up

Scheduling annual heating maintenance services proactively identifies issues before firing up your furnace for the season. Technicians perform comprehensive inspections and conduct tests on all heating system components. They can notify you of any prevailing problems and offer repair recommendations. If the system shows signs of age, they can recommend upgrades or replacements for a more energy-efficient heating system.

During HVAC tune-up, technicians dismantle the entire furnace for a thorough cleaning, meticulously removing dust and debris from the components. They will make sure your system is clean and fresh, ready for the heating season. Ductwork cleaning will address dust and debris accumulation within ducts, registers, and vents.

While cleaning, HVAC professionals will replace the air filter and clear away any surrounding debris. They also check the air filter size and provide guidance on the recommended frequency for filter replacement. 

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Addressing Heating Problems Promptly

Call your trusted heating service provider immediately at the first sign of a furnace problem. Swift resolution minimizes wear and tear, thwarting premature failure of other components. Promptly arranging heating inspections and repairs will save you both time and money.

Furnaces that continually run can result in an array of issues for homeowners. This is why professional services are very important in maintaining these systems. Various issues can prevent the proper shutdown of the furnace, contributing to increased heating expenses. Don’t hesitate to contact your HVAC contractor as soon as you notice these symptoms. 

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Call Lawes Company For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

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Lawes Company delivers top-tier heating and cooling services within the Jersey Shore region. Our team consists of the finest certified technicians who specialize in providing exceptional HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Our HVAC professionals have the expertise and experience to service your HVAC system.

At Lawes Company, we are committed to providing the most competitive HVAC service rates in the region. Our repairs, replacements, and maintenance services are designed to improve comfort levels, enhance energy efficiency, and lower HVAC expenses. If you need HVAC repairs or replacements, we can offer informed recommendations that align with your budget. Our HVAC work comes with a satisfaction guarantee.

To schedule a maintenance or service appointment, don’t hesitate to contact Lawes Company today. We offer complimentary, in-home estimates.

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