Talking About Crawlspace Repairs

What To Do When Your Electric Furnace Won't Shut Off

by Clinton Stone

If your electric furnace stays on, and the thermostat won't reach the temperature you set it to, you may wonder if you should call a heating specialist for help. Although you can contact a local contractor for assistance, you can follow some simple tips to solve your furnace's problem yourself. The problem can actually be as simple as unblocking the cold-air return vents in your floors to changing your furnace's air filter. Here are tips to help you locate the possible causes for your furnace's problem.

Unblock Your Cold Air Return Vents

Cold-air return vents remove cool air from your indoor environment and transfer it to your electric furnace, which heats the air up inside its blower housing. If items, furniture, tables, or dirt block the openings on the vents, the furnace may not know when to come on or shut off properly. If the house remains cold and drafty, your thermostat won't reach a desirable temperature. To solve these issues, locate and check every return air vent in your house.

Most homes use a main return air vent for their furnaces. You may also find several vents placed inside the flooring in your living room. If you have a second-story home, check the main bedroom or hallway for a vent. Remove all items that partially or fully cover the vents. 

Next, examine the openings of the vents. If you can clearly see inside the vents, they are open. If you can't see inside the vents, use the tiny vent handles located on the left or right side of the vents to open them up.

If the furnace still refuses to cycle off and on correctly, or if the thermostat's temperature settings never change, you can try one more thing before you call a contractor.

Change Your Furnace's Air Filter

If you haven't changed the air filter inside your furnace in a long time, do so now. Air filters build up with grime and dust throughout the year, even when you don't use your heating appliance. Grime and dust can block the filter and prevent cool air from reaching the furnace's blower motor and fan.

The blower motor and fan are the parts of your furnace that heat up cold air. A dirty air filter can keep both parts from doing their jobs. Blower motors can burn out, make noises or fail if they become clogged with dirt. Changing your air filter when it become visibly dirty helps protect the motor and furnace. 

If your furnace and thermostat continue to act up, even after trying the steps above, contact a heating and plumbing contractor for further assistance.