4 Reasons Why Your Furnace is Throwing Your Circuit Breaker and How to Solve It

Tripped circuit breakers are frustrating and stressful, particularly if it seems like the furnace is the culprit. If your breaker trips once and normal performance returns after you reset it, there is no abrupt cause for distress. In this case, an unforeseen power surge is probably the reason. 

However, you can’t avoid the issue if the breaker trips again and again. This might happen with both electric and gas furnaces. After all, even gas-fired furnaces rely on electricity to operate the blower motor and other parts. Before you schedule furnace repair, review the most common reasons your furnace would be throwing the circuit breaker and how you can stop it. 

1. Overloaded Furnace 

Does your furnace start for a short time before tripping the breaker? This can stem from restricted airflow. A dirty filter or closed air vents compels your furnace to work harder. The increased electrical draw could overwork the system, strain the circuit and trip the breaker. Consider the following tips to restore proper airflow and fix the issue: 

  • Replace the air filter. 
  • Open all air registers and make sure none are restricted by furniture, curtains or rugs. 
  • Don’t put anything against the furnace or otherwise reduce airflow into it. 

2. Full Circuit 

HVAC equipment is best used on a lone circuit, but this might not occur in older houses. Find the labels on your electrical panel to learn if another appliance shares a circuit with your furnace. As a brief precaution, you can unplug the secondary item or avoid running it while the furnace is running. A wiser, more ongoing solution is to have an electrician install an individual circuit for your HVAC system. 

3. Short Circuit or Ground Fault 

Does your furnace trip the circuit breaker immediately upon startup? This could be a result of an electrical issue inside the furnace. An exposed wire could be shorting out the circuit when it touches a neutral wire or creates a ground fault if it touches a grounded wire or metal object. Either of these problems can increase the electrical draw enough to trigger the circuit. You’ll be better off with an HVAC pro like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to uncover and repair the trouble. 

4. Electrical Panel Issue 

If you eliminate any malfunctions with your furnace, the electrical panel might be to blame. Loose connections or damaged breakers might lead to inconsistent performance. If you own an older residence, you might need to have the panel replaced if it’s too old, damaged or incorrectly installed. In this case, you need help from an electrician. 

Your furnace may keep tripping the circuit breaker despite your efforts to fix the issue by yourself. If this happens, leave the furnace off and contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for help. Our HVAC Experts can help you find the issue and advise the necessary repair. We’re proud of our repair, so we support it with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee for a year.* For more information about us, or to arrange furnace repair, call us at 866-397-3787 right away. 

*Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions. 

  • Eight Common Heating Myths Debunked

    There are many myths out there about home heating that lead to confusion and inefficient furnace usage. It’s time to clear up these common misconceptions. Here, the heating professionals at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing get to the bottom of the eight most common myths to... Continue reading

  • Eight Upgrades to Boost Your Home HVAC System

    During the cold winter months in the U.S., there’s no better way to improve your home’s comfort than with easy and effective upgrades. It’s not simply about keeping the house toasty warm as the snow begins to fall—it’s about boosting efficiency and cleaning the very air you breathe.... Continue reading

  • How to Choose a Suitable HVAC System

    When it comes to keeping your home comfortable all year, nothing is more critical than choosing the right heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. This choice influences your daily comfort, monthly utility costs and general home efficiency. But, with so many system types, sizes and... Continue reading