February 2, 2023
HVAC Service in Sacramento, CA

Your home’s HVAC system has many individual components. Collectively, they will turn on and off as necessary to either keep your home warm when it’s cold or cool when it gets too hot. The HVAC fan is one of these many components that must run with the rest of the system, but it might also run a bit longer than the other components. It can be very normal for your fan to start a few minutes before the actual heating begins, and it might also run for a few more moments once cooling stops. What it shouldn’t do is keep running for hours on end by itself when the rest of the system is shut down. Finding out why this is happening can point to the problem that needs to be solved.

How an HVAC Fan Should Work Normally

Your HVAC blower fan will run with both heating and cooling. However, it’s an electrical system all its own. Your home’s air conditioner and heater cool or heat the air themselves, but it’s your home’s blower fan that pulls any uncomfortable air from inside your home. It will send it through the heater or air conditioner before distributing it back throughout your home. The system thermostat is what directs these different systems to work in conjunction with one another.

Normal operations would have your thermostat set to “auto” mode. That means the blower fan and either the cooling or heating components would be activated and deactivated simultaneously whenever the temperature you want has been reached inside. Many systems might have blower fans run for a moment or two before or after the heating and cooling start and finish. This is to get air flowing.

The one other time your blower fan might run by itself is if you turn the thermostat switch to an “on” position just for air circulation. Just look at your thermostat to see what it says. If it’s “on,” then just change it to see if it returns to normal operation. If it’s not the thermostat settings, then there might be one of many different underlying issues that need to be addressed.

Temperature Extremes

One possibility is that the system is functional but just doesn’t have enough power. If the temperatures outside are very hot or cold, then your home’s HVAC system might not be robust enough to get your home to the temperature that you want. If the unit is undersized, then it’s not going to be up to the workload required of it right now. It might also be struggling if it hasn’t been maintained lately. In these cases, it’s likely to continue running until such time that the outside weather gets better.

Faulty Controls

If you set the thermostat to “auto,” verify it’s there or cycle to that setting, and your HVAC blower fan is still running when it probably shouldn’t, then you might have a faulty control part somewhere in the system. It might be the thermostat itself. You might also have a broken relay switch that is keeping your thermostat settings from being communicated to the fan. Also, there might be a short circuit or wiring problem somewhere that is keeping the on-and-off commands from getting to the fan.

Repair or Replace?

Hopefully, your HVAC system has a relatively simple issue causing your blower fan to keep running longer than you’re used to. A qualified technician might be able to identify the problem and rectify it quickly. Then, you can get back to a quiet, comfortable life inside your home. On the other hand, if the situation is indicative of deeper issues or you have had a lot of other repairs that are happening recently, you might be wondering if it’s time to replace instead of repair the HVAC system. Your technician will have options for you, but the decision is eventually up to you.

One thing your technician might do is use a formula that’s very popular across the entire industry. Take the cost of potential repairs, and then multiply that number by how many years old your system is. If the number you come up with is greater than $5,000, then you should strongly consider replacing it. This becomes even more true for a system that needs the same repair or just needs frequent repairs of different kinds. However, if the system runs well overall and is under five years old, then you probably aren’t going to need a replacement anytime soon. Air conditioners should run for up to a decade with the right maintenance, and a furnace should last 15 years or more.

Always keep safety in mind, however. If your system winds up presenting a possible hazard to your home and the people living there, then a replacement is absolutely the right move. There are two big potential safety issues to consider above all else. The first is the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning, and the second is the chance of a fire hazard. Never put up with either being a possibility while you live there.

Based on how long your system has been in place, there might be current market offerings that you aren’t taking advantage of until you replace what you’ve got right now. Digital systems that replace analog models are considerably more efficient. Increased control means having more ability to dictate just how comfortable you get in your home. You might also enjoy some serious energy savings on your utility bills, although the right repair might also bring your power bill down if your blower fan is no longer running nearly as hard as it used to.

Make Sure You Get Fan Maintenance

Even if your HVAC system is working fine, you should probably get maintenance visits twice a year. Spring and fall are great times to do this when your system isn’t working at its summer or winter peaks, and there might be more professionals available. Regular maintenance calls can prevent future heating or AC issues and correct anything that’s a minor issue now. Without professional service, your system might get stressed out over time and wind up stopping working entirely. This is likely to happen when it’s really hot or cold outside, and it’s often harder to get appointments at those times. If your fan runs longer than it should, or you hear whining or scraping sounds, then have things checked out as quickly as you can. Early repairs usually prove faster and more affordable than later circumstances that might involve an entire system replacement.

Find Your Peace of Mind

Your HVAC fan might keep running for a number of different reasons, but they can all result in you stressing over the unknown. Get your peace of mind back by having one of our trusted professionals from Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning take a look at your home’s system and see what’s going on. Count on our experience at Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning to tell you everything that’s going on with your HVAC and get it right again. We’re here to help you with your heating, air conditioning, plumbing, hot water, and air quality needs in the Northern Valley and Greater Sacramento area.

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