Is Your HVAC Furnace Overheating? Three Telltale Signs

Dec 27, 2019 | Furnace, Heating, Winter

Anything that uses electricity has the potential to become overheated, including your home’s HVAC system. This can be especially dangerous because not only can it cause irreparable damage to your system, it can also start a fire in your home. It is very important that every member of your household is aware of the most common signs of your furnace becoming overheated so that someone can be alerted to call for assistance right away:


1. There is a burning smell when your furnace is running

When you turn on your furnace the first time when cold weather sets in, you may notice a slight burning smell for a half hour or so. This is perfectly normal since your HVAC system is being exposed to heat for the first time since last winter. If you want to avoid this, have your HVAC system professionally inspected and cleaned before cold weather season arrives will prevent the burning smell since it will remove the debris that has accumulated in your furnace and air ducts). If the burning smell persists, there may be a more serious problem. Turn off your furnace and contact Xenia Heating & Air at 937-708-8451. We will send out one of our professional HVAC technicians can examine your system and repair the problem. 


2. Your heating system is making strange noises  

If your HVAC system is making strange sounds, there is a reason to be concerned. When your furnace is in good working order, you won’t hear any sounds coming from it. Noises are a sign that something isn’t working right. There is one sound in particular that indicates there’s a problem, and that is a loud humming sound. A humming noise is a sign that the furnace’s motor is overheating. This can occur for a few reasons: 


• The air filter is dirty and needs to be changed

If you neglect to replace your furnace’s air filter, it will get clogged with dirt and stop air from being able to flow through. As a result, your furnace will become overworked because it will continue to try to force air through the clogged filter. This will cause it to overheat and will result in damage to your HVAC system. Check the filter every 30 days during the cold-weather season when your furnace is running a lot and change it at least once during the winter. 


• Closing off the heat vents in your home

Closing the air vents in the rooms in your house that are not frequently used (attics, basements, spare bedrooms, etc.) in an attempt to conserve energy use does not work. In fact, the opposite situation happens: your furnace ends up working even harder. The heating system in your home is designed to work based on your house’s size and area. Blocking the air vents causes your furnace to become overheated. In these instances, “short cycling” occurs. This means that the furnace starts and stops more often than it is intended to as it attempts to warm the entire area it is designed to warm. 


• Re-setting the thermostat’s temperature frequently

If you frequently change the temperature setting on your thermostat, it causes the balance of its cycles to become disrupted. Changing the temperature often wears out the furnace’s components. If someone in your household feels the need to continuously re-set the furnace’s temperature, upgrade to a modern programmable thermostat. These thermostats are more efficient and easy on your HVAC system. They eliminate a great deal of wear and tear on the furnace and its components. A programmable thermostat also allows you to change the temperature setting at home even when you are not there with the use of a handy app that can be downloaded for free onto your smartphone. This feature will save money on your utility bills since you can program lower temperatures when no one is home as well as when the weather is mild. 


3. Your furnace is not completing regular cycles  

When your furnace shuts off after running for only a few minutes, this is one of the indications that it is overheating. The cycles are ending too soon because it is attempting to protect your furnace from overheating. This happens when the heat exchanger in your system becomes overheated and the furnace’s high-limit switch automatically shuts it off. Turn off your furnace and call for professional assistance right away. One of our certified technicians will come to your home and inspect your furnace, identify the problem, and make any necessary repairs. 


If you suspect your HVAC system may be overheating or not working correctly, do the safe thing and call Xenia Heating & Air at 937-708-8451 or visit us on the web at Our team of dedicated experts will get busy right away. A professional technician will assess the situation and make the necessary repairs.