If your furnace trips the breaker once, you can generally flip the breaker back in place, chalk it up to a power surge, and go on with your life. But what if your furnace keeps tripping the breaker? In this case, chances are this problem is being caused by your furnace and not just the power grid. Here are a few possible furnace issues that could be causing your furnace to repeatedly trip the breaker.
A Blocked Filter
The first thing to check is whether or not the filter in your HVAC system is clogged with dirt and debris. If the furnace filter is really clogged and full, this will increase resistance within the ducts, which may cause your furnace to overheat and trip the breaker. It's pretty easy to tell if a blocked filter is the reason your breaker keeps tripping. Pull the old filter out, slide a new one in, and let your furnace run. If the breaker keeps tripping, then the filter was not the problem and you'll need to have an HVAC repair contractor address one of the other issues.
Similar to a clogged air filter, a collapsed duct can increase resistance in the system, cause your HVAC fan to overwork itself, and lead to a tripped breaker. It's tough to tell whether you have a collapsed duct without a specialized camera, so this is best left to an HVAC pro. They'll send a camera into your ducts, and if they do find an area where the duct is collapsed or compressed, they'll get to work replacing that duct. A new duct will open the airflow back up and allow your furnace to operate normally.
Broken Blower Motor
The other possibility is that the blower motor has a broken component, such as a frayed belt or worn ball bearings. When the motor is struggling, it can overheat and trip the breaker. Most blower motor problems can be fixed, so your HVAC contractor probably won't have to replace the whole blower motor unless it's really old and has more problems than are worth repairing.
If your furnace keeps tripping the breaker, start by taking a look at your filter. If a clogged filter is not to blame, then a good next step is to call an HVAC contractor and have them take a look. They can recommend any necessary repairs.
For more information, contact a furnace repair service near you.