If you use a furnace for winter heat (and chances are good that you do), one odd malfunction that you might run into is a circuit breaker that trips when the furnace is running. If this happens with your furnace, don’t keep resetting the breaker and trying to run the furnace again. A tripped breaker is the home’s electrical system protecting its circuits, and you shouldn’t ignore the warning the breaker is sending. There might be a simple reason for this occurrence that you can correct. But if you can’t find one, you need to contact HVAC repair professionals and let them find out the trouble and remedy it.
Yes, This Applies to Gas Furnaces Too
Gas furnaces do require electrical power in order to operate. The main cause of a circuit overload from a furnace is due to the blower motor. All furnaces, regardless of their energy source, have an electrically-powered blower motor.
5 Possible Reasons for the Circuit Breaker Tripping
Clogged air filter:
You must change the furnace’s filter on a regular basis (every 1 to 3 months depending on the filter type). If the filter becomes clogged, it will cut off airflow and force the blower to strain. A strained blower is the main trigger for a tripped circuit breaker.
Blocked air vents:
Another way that the blower motor may be placed under too much stress is if there are blocked air vents around the house. This might be from moved furniture or people closing off the vent louvers. Blocked vents raise the air pressure inside the ventilation system, and that puts more stress on the blower motor that can overload the electrical circuit.
The issue may be that the motor that powers the blower itself is faulty. Worn down wiring in the motor can lead to shorts and arcing, and this will almost always cause the circuit breaker to trip. (Stopping electrical shorts is one of the main purposes of breakers.) The motor will need HVAC technicians to replace it.
Leaking air ducts:
If air is escaping from the ventilation system through breaks and leaks, the furnace will need to keep running to try to replace the lost heated air. The extra workload is often enough to cause a tripped breaker. Ventilation leaks will lead to many other problems as well.
Trouble with the electrical panel:
It’s possible that the problem isn’t in the furnace or elsewhere in the HVAC system. The electrical panel might be faulty or the individual breaker damaged. Let professionals find out the reason so it can be fixed accurately.
Keep Safe: Call Our Professionals
If you can’t find an easy answer to the circuit breaker problems with your furnace (such as a clogged filter), make sure to call HVAC professionals to look into it and repair it. Attempting to fix a furnace on your own is potentially dangerous! Keep yourself and your family safe and let our experienced heating experts do the job!