Top Signs Your Furnace Is Overheating

If you notice your furnace acting up, don’t neglect it. The symptoms may seem like minor oddities, but they may point to a dangerous heating system issue. For instance, you may be dealing with an overheating furnace. You should act quickly before the problem escalates. Call an HVAC contractor to inform them about what you observe and book a checkup as soon as possible. In this article, we discuss the top signs of an overheating furnace and the typical solutions for these problems.

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Top Signs Your Furnace Is Overheating

It is dangerous to have an overheating furnace in your home. It increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and makes your home vulnerable to harsh weather during winter. The good news is that the signs are easily discernible when you pay attention. Contact your local, trusted HVAC technician if you notice the following signs in your home:

A Persistent Furnace Burning Smell

homeowner plugging nose due to furnace odor

Is a burning smell lingering around your home? Your first reaction may be to go to your kitchen to check the stove. If that’s not the issue, check other heat sources, such as the furnace. Check to see if the odor is more intense around the unit. You don’t have to worry if the stench dissipates quickly. It could be the smell of burning dust after a long time of being inactive. However, a buring scent that persists for longer than 30 minutes should be taken seriously. Excessive heat can damage the system’s parts and melt the wires.

Related Article: When To Repair Vs. Replace Your Heating System

Furnace Emits An Unusual Humming Noise

Normally, heating systems generate some noise. Homeowners will eventually familiarize themselves with the sounds their furnaces generate. It naturally emits a steady hum, but it is unusual if you hear clicks and bangs. Should you hear any unusual noises, be sure to investigate further. Act fast if they are getting louder. Odd noises point to a motor that is running on overdrive and components that are malfunctioning.

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Sudden Heating System Shutdown

Furnaces have safety sensors built into them. They trigger an automatic shutdown if they sense excessive heat. This feature gives the system adequate time to cool down and restart. Furthermore, the underlying cause will need to be resolved. Otherwise, the problem will repeat itself. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your HVAC contractor as soon as possible.

Related Article: How To Troubleshoot Common Winter Furnace Problems

Common Causes of an Overheating Furnace

An overheating furnace doesn’t happen accidentally. Specific conditions are needed for it to occur. The problem slowly builds until the symptoms cannot be neglected any longer. Each symptom has a solution of its own. Here are a few of the most common reasons a furnace overheats:

HVAC Airflow is Restricted

image of a furnace filter replacement

The furnace produces hot air that goes through the filter before it is circulated into different rooms via the ductwork. Obstructions in the ducts or filter will cause restricted airflow. As a result, the hot air cannot escape, and the heat will build up in the system. The symptoms will pop up once the maximum operating temperature is exceeded.

Dirty Heating System Interior

Air contaminants settle on the surfaces of the system’s internal parts as time passes. Some components are more dirt sensitive than others. An example of such a component is the blower motor, which produces heat while rotating the fan blades. The motor won’t effectively cool down if it is dirty. Moreover, furnace coils covered in grime will also find it harder to transfer heat. This can be solved and prevented with annual HVAC system tune-ups.

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Furnace Short Cycling

When your HVAC system starts and stops in short heating cycles, it is called short cycling. The shorter intervals mean the system cannot complete a cycle and operate as it should. Stress causes wear and tear to the motors and other components. If you have a new system, the short cycling issue is likely due to the mismatch in size. On the other hand, short cycling may happen in old systems because of furnace overheating and thermostat malfunction.

Related Article: Signs Your Heat Exchanger May Be Cracked On Your Gas Furnace

Lack of Heating System Maintenance

Mechanical parts tend to suffer from wear and tear. Your heating system may overheat if one of these components fails. For instance, a stressed fan blower can cause reduced circulation and increase internal temperature. Regular maintenance allows technicians to find failing components and replace them before they escalate into worse problems.

End of Furnace Service Life

Overheating may also point to a furnace that is nearing the end of its service life. If you have an old heating system, it may have a lot of failing components and other hidden defects. There may be better ways to spend your money than getting these parts replaced several times while dealing with spiking fuel consumption. Consider a whole furnace replacement instead to achieve a fresh start.

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How An HVAC Technician Repairs an Overheating Furnace

image of an hvac contractor performing a furnace repair

An inexperienced individual opening and trying to fix a furnace is a dangerous endeavor. Let a qualified HVAC technician resolve the overheating and other problems your system may have. Turn the furnace off and call for emergency repairs. A trained technician can diagnose the issue quickly and correctly and offer viable solutions.

How Long Does a Furnace Last?

A furnace’s average lifespan is around 15 years. Neglecting its maintenance may cause premature failure. You can add a few years to your system’s lifespan if you are diligent in its upkeep. Remember that you can influence your heating system’s longevity and performance.

Make a cost comparison if you can’t decide whether to repair or replace your old furnace. Quick and cheap replacements can be tolerated, but expensive repairs may be hard to accept. Check if the repair costs are over half the price of a new furnace. If it is, get a new system replacement instead to receive improved energy efficiency and reduced heating bills. You will also experience less hassle this way.

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Related Article: Variable-Speed Furnaces Can Improve Home Efficiency

Why Is Annual Furnace Maintenance Important?

image of the word important depicting furnace hvac maintenanceHomeowners can conduct simple furnace maintenance tasks, like removing clutter and replacing the air filters regularly. A professional HVAC contractor can perform the more complex tasks when you book your yearly furnace maintenance schedule. It includes inspecting and tuning the system thoroughly. Professional annual furnace maintenance keeps most issues at bay while improving system efficiency and performance and extending its service life.

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Related Article: Why You Should Call A Professional For Your Furnace Repair


Don’t let your furnace overheat for long periods because it can lead to expensive system damage and hazardous carbon monoxide emissions. Call an HVAC professional if you notice your furnace shutting down, accompanied by loud noises and a burning smell. An expert can verify and fix the issue. They utilize special tools and available parts to resolve it quickly. Having a professional assist you will ensure your home can get back to normal immediately.

Tevis Energy’s sister company, Modern Comfort, performs HVAC installations, replacements, tune-ups, and more. Our technicians can provide you with expert HVAC services to ensure that your system provides you with the comfort and efficiency you deserve. Call now to schedule an appointment.

Call Tevis Energy For All Your HVAC Needs

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Tevis Energy provides HVAC services in the area. We have the best professionally certified technicians who can perform impressive heating and cooling services, like furnace maintenance, ductless installations, boiler replacements, A/C repairs, and more. All our skilled techs have extensive knowledge and experience and the right tools to service your HVAC system correctly.

Tevis Energy guarantees to have the area’s most competitive heating and cooling service costs. Our tune-up services can increase your home comfort and energy efficiency while reducing your heating and cooling expenses. If your HVAC system requires replacing or repairs, we can recommend the best one for your home while staying within your budget. Schedule a service appointment with Tevis Energy today and receive a free, in-home estimate.

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