Why is My Furnace Constantly Running?

Checking heat coming out of a vent

During the winter months, your furnace works hard to keep your home warm and comfortable for your family. In normal use you should hear your furnace automatically kick on, run for a while, then turn off sometime later. All part of correct operation.

Yet in some instances, you might notice that your furnace has been running for much longer than you would expect it to. What’s going on in these situations? Is there a reason why your furnace is running constantly? Is it even safe for it to be doing so? Here’s what you should know if you feel you’re experiencing too much uptime on your home furnace.

What Could Be Causing the Problem?

If you feel like your furnace is always running lately, there are a few reasons why this might be. Some of them are easy fixes, while others might require some more time, effort, or even expense. Let’s look at some of the most common causes of this problem.

  • Your thermostat may be set too high. If your thermostat is set to too high a temperature, your furnace will have to work harder to keep your home warm. This can cause your furnace to run constantly as it attempts to keep up with your temperature setting.
  • Your furnace filter may be dirty. A dirty filter can restrict airflow, which can cause your furnace to work harder and run longer to heat your home to a certain temperature. You should change your furnace filter every 1-3 months, depending on the type of filter you have, if you want to avoid this.
  • Your home may be leaking heat. If your home is in need of better insulation or new windows, for example, heat might be escaping, causing your furnace to continue running in order to attempt to keep the house at the desired temperature. Consider if your thermostat is in a particularly draft room of the house.
  • Your thermostat might not be working properly. If there is a problem with your thermostat, it may not be sending the correct signal to your furnace. This can cause your furnace to run  because the temperature it’s reading isn’t the actual temperature of your house.
  • Your furnace itself may be faulty. This can be due to damage or even just age, as either can interfere with its ability to heat your home efficiently. The reason  why your furnace is running constantly could be that it needs a tune-up, repair, or even to be replaced. 

What You Should Do if Your Furnace is Always Running

If your furnace is always running, you should first check the thermostat to make sure it is set to the correct temperature. You should also check the filter to make sure it’s clean. If the thermostat and filter are clean, and your furnace is still running constantly, you should call a qualified technician to inspect your furnace.

Here are some additional tips to help you keep your furnace running efficiently:

  • Seal any air leaks around your home. Air leaks can cause your furnace to work harder and run longer. You can seal up air leaks with caulk or weatherstripping.
  • Have your furnace serviced regularly. A qualified technician can inspect your furnace and make sure it is in good working order. They can also clean your furnace and replace any worn or damaged parts. A furnace maintenance plan can keep your equipment running more efficiently for longer, saving money over time.
  • Keep the area around your furnace clean and free of debris. Debris can block airflow and cause your furnace to work harder.
  • Consider upgrading to a more efficient furnace. It can save you money on your energy bills.

By following these tips, you can help keep your furnace running efficiently and extend its lifespan. If you think your furnace should be inspected to make sure it’s operating effectively, contact Burns & McBride. We’ve been repairing and replacing furnaces in New Castle County Delaware for more than 70 years. 

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