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Why Does My Furnace Trip the Circuit Breaker?

small_3683091313Have you ever noticed that your furnace stopped working, only to discover that something tripped the breaker to your system? This can happen every once in a while, and it can be hard to figure out what caused the issue. To help shed some light on this problem, today we’re going to answer the question, “Why does my furnace trip the circuit breaker?”

Why does my gas furnace need electricity in the first place?

If you’re like most homeowners in the St. Louis area, your furnace uses natural gas as its fuel source. With that in mind, you might be wondering why your furnace needs an electrical power supply in the first place.

Even though gas furnaces produce heat by burning fuel, there are still some components that run on electricity. The most crucial of those components is your furnace’s blower. This is the part of your furnace that’s responsible for circulating warm air throughout your home, and it requires electricity to operate.

In addition, most new furnaces turn on with an electronic ignition instead of the pilot lights that were used in older furnaces. This ignition also requires an electrical power supply (along with other various system components).

Why does my furnace trip the circuit breaker?

The most common reason that a furnace trips a circuit breaker is that the blower is overworking.

Any time that something is blocking airflow to your system, your blower has to work harder to compensate. The most common culprit is a dirty air filter. When your air filter is clogged with dirt, your blower has to work extra hard to push air through the filter. This will increase the blower’s energy consumption and can sometimes trip the circuit breaker.

Other issues that can contribute to an overworking furnace blower include home air leaks, duct leaks and closed or blocked-off air registers.

In some instances, a tripped circuit breaker isn’t your furnace’s fault at all. Your furnace might share a breaker with another appliance that caused the trip, or the circuit breaker itself may have malfunctioned.

What should you do if your furnace trips the circuit breaker?

The first thing you should do if your circuit breaker trips is check on your air filter. If you have a dirty filter, replace it with a fresh one. Next, try flipping the switch on your circuit breaker and turning your furnace back on to see if it works. If the problem persists, it’s best to contact a professional like Jerry Kelly so that we can safely inspect your furnace and take care of the problem.

If you have any questions about why your furnace trips the circuit breaker, or if you’d like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Charles, MO, heating and cooling contractor. We service the St. Louis area, including towns like Cottleville, Creve Coeur and Dardenne Prairie.

Ready to schedule furnace repair service in your Missouri home? Contact us online now or give us a call at 636-373-9220 to set up your appointment!

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