young woman plugging her nose because of bad smell

An overheated furnace can be a large problem. Typically, it will turn itself off, leaving your home cold. Plus, it will likely suffer a lot of damage before it gets to this point, which may mean it needs repairs. Here are some symptoms that your furnace is about to overheat, how to reset it, and what to do if that doesn’t work. 

Symptoms Your Furnace is Overheating 

Here are symptoms you may notice if your furnace is overheating, or is about to overheat: 

  • Burning smell: Unless you’ve just turned on your furnace for the first time in the fall, that burning smell isn’t dust being burnt off the furnace. Instead, it’s a sign that the furnace could be overheating, potentially from an overfull filter. 
  • Humming sound: A humming sound is typically a problem with the blower motor. If it can’t work, it can’t disperse heat properly, and the remaining heat will cause problems for the furnace. Other noises can also be warning signs that the furnace is going to overheat. 
  • Furnace turns off: If your furnace turns off, and then doesn’t turn back on when your home’s temperature drops below your settings, then it may have overheated.

Think your furnace might be overheating and not comfortable resetting it on your own? Reach out to our experts today. 

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How to Reset Your Furnace 

When you suspect that your furnace has overheated, resetting it is a good first step. Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Turn down the thermostat to its lowest setting.
  2. At the circuit breaker, turn off the power to the furnace.
  3. If this is a gas furnace, turn off the gas supply at the valve for the main gas pipe, but leave the pilot’s gas supply on.
  4. If the pilot light was out, light a match to relight it.
  5. Turn the gas supply back on.
  6. Press the reset button, it is usually red. You may have to hold it for 30 seconds.
  7. Turn the power back on for the furnace.
  8. Now put your thermostat back to your typical temperature.

This might resolve your furnace’s problem. However, it might also just overheat again. In this case, an underlying issue is probably causing it to overheat. Typically, these are air flow-related issues, like the fan or filter is broken. Then, the heat generated by the furnace can’t leave, causing the overheating.  However, there may be other culprits too. You’ll need a professional to help you figure out what is going on. 

What if that Didn’t Work? 

If your furnace reset didn’t fix the problem, you need the help of a professional. Turn off the furnace for safety first. Then, reach out to the team at Ken Philp ClimateCare. We can help you get your furnace back in working order. 


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