The idea of a furnace getting too hot seems a bit far-fetched, but a malfunction can easily cause it to operate well beyond safe temperatures. This can lead to a whole host of problems ranging from premature heat exchanger failure to an actual fire and resulting damage.
If you suddenly smell hot metal, burning rubber or melting plastic from your furnace, then there's a good chance you're dealing with an overheating issue. Fortunately, you can use the following tips to troubleshoot and resolve the issue.
Keep Your Furniture Away from the Return Air Inlets
A surprising number of overheating issues are caused by rugs, drapes and furniture being placed in front of the return air inlets. The resulting airflow blockage often causes furnace temperatures to rise well beyond safe operating levels unless proper airflow is restored. Simply keeping your furniture and other potential obstructions away from the inlets can go a long way towards preventing overheating issues.
Check and Change Your Air Filter
Your air filter can also be another source of airflow blockage, especially if it hasn't been changed in a while and is packed with dust and debris. It's a good idea to change your air filter on a regular basis. Not only can it keep your furnace from overheating, but you'll also enjoy better performance and indoor air quality.
Check the Evaporator Coil
If you have a furnace that also share space with a central air conditioning unit, then you may want to check the evaporator coil and make sure it's not completely blocked by dust and debris. If the evaporator coil is caked in dust, then you'll need to carefully clean it before you can use your furnace again.
Have Your HVAC Technician Check the Thermal Limit Switch
Most furnaces are equipped with a thermal limit switch of some sort that prevents the furnace itself from running at unsafe temperatures. It's not uncommon for this component to fail over time, resulting in a furnace that has no way of safely shutting itself down if temperatures exceed safe operating limits. It's a good idea to have an experienced HVAC technician check and, if necessary, replace this switch.
Check the Thermostat Wiring
It's not uncommon for an improperly wired thermostat to cause problems for your furnace. For instance, bad wiring can cause the furnace to run continuously, which could potentially put it at risk of overheating. Your HVAC technician can double check the thermostat wiring and make corrections wherever needed so you can safely use your furnace without fear of it overheating.
For more information, contact companies like R & B Inc Heating & Air Conditioning.