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Furnace in a home

Having a furnace is essential for keeping your home warm and comfortable during the colder months. However, there may come a time when you encounter a problem with your furnace, such as the reset button tripping. At this point, you will need to know how to reset a furnace. Power down the furnace and use the reset button. You may need to seek a professional if it comes back on and trips.

Let’s find out more!

If a filter is dirty, it can cause the furnace to not work and become clogged.

What Can Cause the Reset Button to Trip?

The reset button on your furnace is designed to protect the system from potential damage. It’s a safety feature that trips when there is an issue detected. Here are a few common reasons that can cause the reset button to trip:

    • Lack of Airflow: Insufficient airflow can cause your furnace to overheat, leading to the tripping of the reset button. Check if your air filters are clogged or dirty, as this can restrict air circulation.
    • Motor Overload: A malfunctioning motor can draw too much current, causing the reset button to trip. This can be due to worn-out bearings, damaged belts, or a faulty motor itself.
    • Electrical Problems: Issues within the electrical system, such as loose wiring connections or short circuits, can also cause the reset button to trip.
    • Dirty Flame Sensor (Gas Furnaces): In gas furnaces, a dirty flame sensor can prevent the burner from igniting properly. This can lead to repeated tripping of the reset button as a safety measure.

How to Reset Your Furnace

If you find that the reset button on your furnace has tripped, here’s how you can safely reset it:

    1. Turn off the Power: Locate the power switch or circuit breaker for your furnace and turn it off to ensure safety.
    2. Wait for Cooldown: Give your furnace some time to cool down before proceeding with the reset.
    3. Locate the Reset Button: The reset button is typically located near the burner or blower compartment. It may be labeled or have a red color.
    4. Press the Reset Button: Once the furnace has cooled down, press the reset button firmly and hold it for about 30 seconds.
    5. Restore Power: After releasing the reset button, turn the power back on by switching on the power switch or flipping the circuit breaker.
    6. Monitor the System: Observe if the furnace starts up properly and remains operational without tripping the reset button. If it continues to trip, it’s time to seek professional assistance.

How to Reset a Gas Furnace

If you have a gas furnace, the reset process may slightly differ. Here are the additional steps to follow when resetting a gas furnace:

    1. Check the Pilot Light: Ensure that the pilot light is ignited. If it’s not, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to relight it.
    2. Clean the Flame Sensor: Gently remove the flame sensor and clean it using fine-grit sandpaper or steel wool. This helps to remove any residue that might interfere with proper sensor functioning.
    3. Reinstall the Flame Sensor: Carefully place the flame sensor back into its original position.
    4. Follow the General Reset Steps: These are the same as mentioned above.

Common Problems with Furnaces

In addition to the reset button tripping, furnaces can experience other common issues. Some of these problems include:

    • Ignition Failures: Gas furnaces may fail to ignite due to faulty igniters, pilot lights, or gas valve issues.
    • Blower Motor Malfunctions: A malfunctioning blower motor can result in poor airflow or no air circulation at all.
    • Lack of Heat: Furnaces may struggle to produce sufficient heat due to a faulty thermostat, clogged filters, or gas supply problems.
    • Strange Noises: Unusual noises coming from your furnace can indicate issues with the blower motor, belts, or bearings.
HVAC inspection can help with when there are issues with resetting the furnace.

How to Maintain Your Furnace

Proper maintenance is crucial in ensuring the longevity and efficiency of your furnace. Here are some tips to help you maintain your furnace:

    1. Regularly Change Air Filters: Dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce the efficiency of your furnace. Replace them every 1-3 months, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
    2. Keep the Area Clean: Ensure that the area around your furnace is clear of any debris or obstructions that could hinder proper functioning.
    3. Schedule Professional Inspections: Consider scheduling annual maintenance visits with a qualified HVAC technician. They can inspect and tune up your furnace, identifying and resolving any potential issues before they escalate.

Check out the video below about how to reset the furnace.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know about resetting the furnace, let’s take a look at a few other areas of recommended maintenance. One of those is other reasons why your furnace won’t turn on. It can be things such blower motor not working or an issue with the furnace filter to name a few.

Another is the heater smelling like it is burning. If you have this, it could be due to dust collecting on the HVAC system, which is normal. However, it is a good idea to have it serviced as well if it continues.

Lastly, you may have a furnace leaking water. This can be due to a condensation leak, plumbing leak, or humidifier leak. You will want to contact a professional if you have any issues.

When Do I Call a Professional?

While many furnace issues can be resolved through DIY troubleshooting, there are instances when it’s best to call a professional HVAC technician. Contact a professional if:

    1. The reset button continues to trip even after resetting it multiple times.
    2. You smell gas or suspect a gas leak.
    3. There are electrical issues or you’re unsure about handling electrical components.
    4. You encounter complex or unfamiliar problems beyond your expertise.

Professional assistance ensures your safety and helps prevent further damage to your furnace.


Knowing how to reset your furnace and understanding the common causes for the reset button to trip can save you time, money, and discomfort during cold weather. Regular maintenance and prompt action, when faced with issues, will help keep your furnace running efficiently and extend its lifespan. Remember, always prioritize safety and seek professional help when needed. Call Waypoint Property Inspection to inspect your home in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Orlando, Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and surrounding areas.