Why Does My Furnace Keep Running?
Posted: February 3, 2020
Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
Take heat, for example: If your oil furnace keeps running after it reaches the temperature on your thermostat, it can cause problems – discomfort for one, higher heating oil bills for another.
Of course, too little of a good thing can also be a bad thing – say, for example, that your heating system won’t reach your target temperature no matter how much it runs. Ironically, discomfort and higher heating oil bills will also be the result in this scenario.
So, what should you do when your furnace just isn’t listening to reason? Start with a little detective work.
When your furnace keeps running and can’t reach your desired temperature:
- Check your thermostat setting – Make sure your thermostat is set to a reasonable temperature (the U.S. Department of Energy recommends 68°F in winter for the best balance of comfort and efficiency). If it’s set to 85°F, your furnace will probably be running for a long time to reach that temperature, especially on a frigid day in RI.
- Check your furnace air filter – Your furnace air filter keeps dirt, allergens, and other irritants from getting into the inner workings of your heating system. When it’s clogged, it can reduce air flow throughout the system, resulting in warm air not reaching your living space. Check your filter once a month during winter, changing it as needed.
- Check your ductwork – Over the years, the constant flow of hot and cool air through your ductwork will eventually cause seals and joints to loosen; other leaks can also develop along the lengths of ductwork throughout your home, often in hard-to-see places. Faulty ductwork will inhibit your furnace’s ability to reach the temperature you set the thermostat to. In some cases, joints can be resealed and voids in ductwork can be covered with tape; in others, professional duct sealing will be needed.
- Weatherize – One reason why your furnace might not be able to reach its target temp is that your house is working against it; air leaks through the exterior walls of your home can steal up to 15 percent of the conditioned air from your living space. Sealing windows in your house with weatherized plastic, installing doorsweeps on exterior doors and replacing old caulking and weatherstripping will help remove some of these draft sources.
When your furnace keeps running after the temperature has been reached:
- Check the blower motor – See whether it’s your blower motor or the whole furnace that’s running non-stop. To do this, feel the air coming from the vents; if it’s warm, the furnace and blower are both running. If it’s cold, the blower alone is running. In the latter scenario, check your thermostat to see if it is set to “on” rather than “auto.” If it is, switch back to auto and see if the problem goes away.
- Check your thermostat – If the on/auto solution didn’t fix the problem, check your thermostat for things like disconnected or frayed wires or obvious problems like worn batteries. If you change the batteries doesn’t fix the problem, you’ll probably have to install a new thermostat.
If none of these solutions fixes your problem heating system, contact the heating experts at Vaughn Oil. Our heating technicians will diagnose the problem and fix it quickly so you can get back to enjoying cozy, comfortable nights in your Rhode Island home.
For expert oil furnace service and oil furnace repairs in Rhode Island, trust the pros at Vaughn Oil. Contact us today to learn more!