Many problems with a furnace are easy to spot if you know what to look for. Electrical issues, mechanical and operational problems, and problems with ducts and vents can be discovered by looking out for these symptoms.
Circuit Breaker Trips Repeatedly
When circuit breaker trips, power can usually be safely restored by flipping the switch back on. If the breaker for your furnace's circuit trips repeatedly, however, this can signify an electrical issue that could be dangerous if left unfixed.
A breaker usually trips to prevent a damaged circuit from causing a fire or to prevent issues with the appliances or devices using that circuit and triggers when there are issues like ground faults or surges. If the breaker is flipped back on without addressing the cause, this could cause serious harm to vital electric components of your furnace or your home itself.
If a breaker is tripping repeatedly, leave it how it is and avoid using your furnace again until an HVAC professional can inspect the circuit and perform repairs.
Furnace Keeps Shutting Off Early
Generally, a furnace should run until your indoor temperature matches that of your thermostat's settings. If your furnace only runs for a few minutes before shutting off and your house is still cool, it's likely that a built-in safety mechanism is causing the furnace to shut down.
A furnace shutting down quickly whenever it turns on is typically called short cycling and generally happens as a result of overheating. Overheating often happens when your furnace isn't getting enough air, which usually means your air filter needs to be replaced, but short cycling can also be caused by an issue with your thermostat, an obstruction somewhere in your vents, or an issue with your furnace's flame sensor.
Continuing to use your furnace while it's short cycling can potentially damage your furnace. If this safety mechanism is being triggered, call an HVAC technician to investigate before you use your furnace again if at all possible.
Foul Odors Coming From Vents
Apart from a burning smell when you first turn on your furnace for the winter, you shouldn't detect any odors coming from your vents while your furnace is running. If you do, and the smell doesn't go away, it may need to be investigated quickly.
Odors that could indicate some kind of risk include must and mildew, rotten eggs, and trash or a decaying body. Some smells, like that of decaying bodies and mildew, can come about if mold is growing in your ducts or if a pest has gotten into your ducts and died. An odor of rotten eggs usually indicates a gas leak, which can sometimes happen if your gas vent is clogged and gases can no longer escape.
To learn more information about furnace issues, reach out to heating repair services near you.