If the circuit breaker for you furnace or HVAC unit keeps tripping, there is no need to panic and anticipate that a hefty repair bill will be something else for you to deal with. Furnaces are inherently dangerous units as they involve gas or oil burning in order for air to become hot, or for your heat exchanger to work and cool the air around it, before forcing it through your home. Consequently, there are a number of vital fail-safe devices within your furnace to make sure that it automatically shuts down long before anything disastrous can happen.
We tend to associate circuit breakers tripping when wires become disconnected or touch something they shouldn’t, something you don’t readily associate with a furnace or HVAC unit. However, that is not usually the problem when a furnace circuit breaker trips. The other role of the circuit breaker is to shut down your furnace if too much power starts to surge through the electrical wiring, as this could lead to a fire. This is going to be the most likely cause with your HVAC unit or furnace.
So, what causes too much power to surge through your electric cables? This is where you can play detective and, if all goes well, you’ve just saved yourself a few dollars by fixing the fault yourself.
First, check your air filter. If this is clogged, your furnace will have to work harder to draw air into the system, which consumes more electricity. If the unit starts consuming too much electricity, then the circuit breaker will trip.
Second, check your ductwork to see if it has become clogged with dust, fluff, and other household debris that has built up over time. Similar to a blocked filter, a blocked duct will force your unit to consume more power as it tries to expel air, causing the circuit breaker to trip.
Third, while your ductwork may appear clean and free from blockages, check that part of it hasn’t actually collapsed, causing a blockage that way, once again causing your furnace circuit breaker to trip.
If that hasn’t solved the problem, then there is one other thing to check before calling out an HVAC engineer, and that is whether your furnace or HVAC unit shares a circuit with any other part of your home. These units should be on an independent wiring circuit, but if it is a shared circuit, it is worth checking that it isn’t something else that’s causing the circuit breaker to trip.
Causes of the problem could also be as a result of a loose wire ‘earthing’ or short-circuiting, faulty parts, or even an animal having chewed through some wires, which is when you will definitely need the services of a qualified HVAC or furnace engineer. If that’s the case, give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to come out and fix the problem so you can go back to relaxing and enjoying your home without having to worry about your furnace causing further problems.