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Reasons Why Your Furnace Runs Only For a Few Minutes

Jul 10, 2015


Is your furnace creating problems preventing you from enjoying a pleasant, warm, and cozy environment? If your furnace only runs for a few minutes then shuts off, your home will hardly be a comfortable place.

There can be various reasons for this inefficient performance, and here we list a few likely causes or related parts which are responsible for a furnace that shuts off after a few minutes.

Flame Sensor

If your furnace only runs for a few minutes then flips off automatically, the flame sensor might be faulty. The flame sensor is responsible for monitoring the gas burner. If the furnace starts then shuts off instantly it may be because the flame sensor is not able to identify the flame and the control board will shut off voltage to the gas valve interrupting the heat cycle. The problem can be solved by merely cleaning the flame sensor, but if the issue persists, you may have to get the flame sensor replaced. You can use a soft abrasive pad to clean the flame sensor.

Flame Rollout Switch

Your flame rollout switch might be defective if your furnace only runs for a few minutes. The role of the flame rollout switch is to monitor the heat surrounding the burners. If the burners are not being drawn into the heat exchanger and the exhaust expels the flue accurately then the rollout switch will open This prevents the furnace from heating and likely stalling it off after some time. Insufficient available air surrounding the furnace usually results in poor air flow through the burner.

Pressure Switch

Another probable reason that why your furnace only runs for a few minutes and then shuts off is a defective switch. The draft inducer motor air flow through the burner should close a pressure switch to indicate the board that accurate air flow is present and the ignition process can continue. The defective pressure switch can cause the ignition process to pause.

Control Board

Your furnace running for only a few minutes, then shutting off may be because your control board is faulty. The control board, as it’s name suggests, regulates the power supply to the parts of the furnace. If the board stops working it can cause the unit to run for a short time and then go off.

Draft Inducer Motor

If your furnace only works for a few minutes then turns off, the draft inducer motor might be defective. The role of draft inducer fan motor is to draw air into the burner and then ‘throw it out’ the outlet. The inducer motor air flow thorough the burner also causes the pressure switch to close, indicating the board that right air flow is present. If the inducer motor is defective, it will be unable to close the pressure switch which causes the ignition process to stop.

Air Flow

Air flow problems also causes your furnace to run for a few minutes then shut off. Proper air flow through the burner is important in order for the burner to remain on and not trip a limit thermostat.

The burner draws air from either the outside the home or from the surrounding area. If the furnace is installed in cramped storage room or a utility closet, there may not be sufficient air for the furnace to work properly. In case your furnace draws air from outside the home, ensure there is nothing (including ice build up) blocking the air inlet.

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