Having a functional heater in your home makes the winter in American Fork tolerable, but what happens when your heater won’t turn off? Although there are few things worse than being cold and lacking a way to warm your living space up, not being able to stop the flow of hot air when it’s stifling indoors is definitely one of them. The good news is that there are four common causes of this problem, and most of them are fairly easy to resolve.
1. You Have a Thermostat Malfunction
When your home is overly hot and the heater won’t turn off, the very first thing that you should check is your thermostat. First, make sure that it’s set at the correct temperature. It may be that someone in your home was feeling especially cold and decided to crank it all the way up. If this is the case, simply reset the thermostat, and the heater should turn off.
You should also check to ensure that the thermostat is set to “AUTO” rather than “ON.” In the “ON” mode, your furnace blower will operate all the time rather than functioning only when heat is being produced. However, if the thermostat is at a moderate temperature and set to the “AUTO” position but the heater is still running incessantly, you either have a broken thermostat or another mechanical issue.
2. The HVAC Air Filter Is Dirty or Clogged
An excessively dirty air filter can wreak havoc on your HVAC system. Surprisingly, a heater that won’t stop blowing out hot air is one of the many problems this can cause. After you’ve checked the thermostat, take a look at your air filter. If this component hasn’t been changed in some time, it could be preventing air from flowing into the furnace.
When less air is being pulled into a furnace, less warm air is being pushed out. This leads to longer heating times, greater wear and tear, and far lower efficiency. After replacing your air filter, wait approximately one hour for normal heater operation to resume. If you’re still having problems after this time, schedule an appointment for HVAC repairs right away.
3. The Blower Fan Motor Is Damaged
Some HVAC problems that might cause your furnace to run non-stop can only be identified and resolved by a seasoned professional. This is certainly the case with any issue involving the heater’s blower fan motor. This component should not be handled, repaired, or even cleaned by a homeowner. Doing so can instantly void any manufacturer warranty that’s still in place.
When the blower fan motor is damaged and fails, the heater will run until it is turned off at the circuit breaker or at its manual shut-off switch. The blower fan motor has a component called a fan limiter switch. This switch is what tells the furnace to turn off and on. If the fan limiter switch in your heater’s blower fan motor has broken down, it will need to be professionally replaced or repaired.
4. You Have Leaking Ducts
Central HVAC systems have both supply and return air ducts. The supply ducts distribute heated or cooled air throughout the building. The return ducts draw air in to be heated or cooled. Leaky supply ducts often cause heated air to be released into the attic. As a result, the thermostat never registers any significant change in indoor temperature, and the heater runs all the time. A ductwork inspection can determine the exact location of a leak. This can then be professionally sealed with metal tape or mastic adhesives.
How to Turn Your Heater Off While Waiting for Service
You don’t have to remain in an intolerably hot environment while waiting for HVAC service. Look for the “OFF” switch on your thermostat. Toggling this switch over to the “OFF” position should do the trick. If your thermostat lacks an “OFF” setting and only has “ON” and “AUTO,” you can always turn off power to the entire HVAC system at the circuit breaker. If you check by your furnace or boiler, you might find a clearly labeled and brightly colored “ON/OFF” switch near the actual heating unit. If this switch exists, you can use it in lieu of the circuit breaker.
Just as not having heat in the winter months can make your home uninhabitable, having too much heat can create a living space that few residents can tolerate. Too much heat can also be a health and safety issue. At Gunthers Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, we fix problems like this all the time. We’ve been providing reliable heating and cooling services throughout the American Fork area since 1967. We also offer indoor air quality services, sheet metal fabrication, and solar-powered attic fan installation. If your heater won’t turn off, get in touch with us today to schedule repairs.