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Why Is My Furnace Running All The Time?

Heating your home is essential to surviving Calgary winters. But, what if your installed furnace is running all the time, you have a problem. Perhaps even five problems.

  1. Your house might not be at the comfortable temperature you’d like.
  2. High utility bills.
  3. All that action could be putting a lot of wear and tear on your heating system.
  4. Poor insulation, old windows or drafty doors.
  5. It is very cold outside.

So, find out what’s wrong and get your furnace back to normal — fast!


How A Furnace Works Normally

Normally, your furnace will cycle continually on and off. Expect 2 to 3 “On” cycles hourly, lasting about 15 minutes each. Here’s how to troubleshoot if it seems that your furnace is running constantly.

Homeowners Troubleshoot Furnace Problems

1. Clogged Filter

My neighbour Homer is a busy guy … too busy to bother with furnace maintenance tasks like changing the filter. That is until his furnace continues to run non-stop and jacks up his fuel bills.

When Homer finds out how easily he can keep his heating system in shape by simply replacing that old dirty filter, what’s his response? An embarrassed “Doh!” of course.

(On a more serious note, clogged air filters can lead not just to furnace malfunction but even deadly carbon monoxide leaks inside the home. Be warned.)

2. Incorrect Thermostat Setting

Last January, Homer’s cousin Peggy was also bothered by a furnace that seemed to run non-stop, producing extensive amounts of hot air. As a result, her house was uncomfortably warm and her fuel bills were higher than usual.

What was wrong? Turns out her young children had found a great game — playing with the thermostat settings. Now she always makes sure the thermostat is set at the correct temperature.

Of course, there are winter days when the temperature dips way, way below freezing. At those times, it’s not unusual for your furnace to run extra hard to warm your home.

To check whether this is the case, lower your thermostat setting to a few degrees below the room’s current temperature. If the furnace shuts down, fine. If not, something may be wrong.

3. Blower Fan Malfunction

Your furnace blower is in charge of circulating the heated air which your furnace produces. But when your furnace is running all the time, check for a malfunction.

Best case scenario: You simply need to set the limit switch on “Auto,” instead of “Manual” (which forces the blower fan to run constantly).

Otherwise, you probably have either a defective fan limit switch or faulty thermostat wiring on your hands. Fixing either of these problems is a job for an expert.

Solutions And Prevention For Furnace Problems

1. Maintenance

Stop problems before they start! Schedule an annual tune-up to keep your furnace clean and in good shape. Replace the filter every 90 days, or as often as once a month during the heating season.

2. DIY Fixes

Try the simple solutions suggested above and see whether they help. But be careful: Never attempt to fix what’s beyond your DIY skill set.

3. Professional Repair

For expert furnace repair, rely on the experienced professionals at Knight Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning.

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