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Furnace Only Runs For a Few Minutes

The 7 most common part(s) or condition(s) which cause the symptom Furnace only runs for a few minutes are listed below starting with the most likely. Check or test each item and watch any available videos.


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To see parts for your furnace, you need to enter your model number on the right. The system will then display parts that are associated with your furnace.

Flame Sensor

If the furnace only runs for a few minutes then shuts off the flame sensor might be bad. The flame sensor monitors the gas burner. If the furnace starts then shuts off quickly the flame sensor may not be able to detect the flame and the control board will shut off voltage to the gas valve stopping the heat cycle. The flame sensor can sometimes be cleaned with a soft abrasive pad, but will likely need to be replaced if the problem reoccurs.

Enter your model number for the best repair help results:


What is a model number, and where do I find it?

To see parts for your furnace, you need to enter your model number on the right. The system will then display parts that are associated with your furnace.

Limit Switch

If the furnace only runs for a few minutes then shuts off the limit switch may be bad. The limit switch will turn off the burner if excessive heat is detected in the burner box. Restricted air flow like a plugged air filter could be the cause. If the air flow is good and the limit is tripping the limit will need to be replaced.

Enter your model number for the best repair help results:


What is a model number, and where do I find it?

To see parts for your furnace, you need to enter your model number on the right. The system will then display parts that are associated with your furnace.

Control Board

If the furnace only runs for a few minutes then shuts off the control board might be defective. The control board regulates the power supply to the components of the furnace. If the board fails it can cause the unit to run for a short time then shut off.

Enter your model number for the best repair help results:


What is a model number, and where do I find it?

To see parts for your furnace, you need to enter your model number on the right. The system will then display parts that are associated with your furnace.

Pressure Switch

If furnace only runs for a few minutes and shuts off the pressure switch might be bad. The draft inducer motor air flow through the burner should close a pressure switch to signal the board that proper air flow is present and the ignition process can continue. If the furnace only runs for a few minutes the pressure switch might be defective causing the ignition process to stall.

Enter your model number for the best repair help results:


What is a model number, and where do I find it?

To see parts for your furnace, you need to enter your model number on the right. The system will then display parts that are associated with your furnace.

Draft Inducer Motor

If the furnace only runs for a few minutes then shuts off the draft inducer motor might be bad. The draft inducer fan motor on a furnace draws air into the burner and then exhausts it out the flue. The inducer motor air flow through the burner also closes a pressure switch to signal the board that proper air flow is present. If the furnace only runs for a few minutes the inducer motor may be defective and unable to close the pressure switch which causes the ignition process to stall.

Enter your model number for the best repair help results:


What is a model number, and where do I find it?

To see parts for your furnace, you need to enter your model number on the right. The system will then display parts that are associated with your furnace.

Flame Rollout Limit Switch

If the furnace only runs for a few minutes then shuts off the flame roll-out switch might be bad. The flame roll-out switch on a furnace monitors the heat surrounding the burners. If the burners are not being drawn into the heat exchanger and the exhaust vented out the flue properly than the roll-out switch will open and prevent the furnace from heating and possibly shutting it off after a few minutes. Poor air flow through the burner is often caused caused by insufficient available air surrounding the furnace.

Enter your model number for the best repair help results:


What is a model number, and where do I find it?

Other Causes and Conditions

Air Flow Problem

If the furnace only runs for a few minutes then shuts off there could be an airflow problem. In order for the burner to stay on and not trip a limit thermostat the furnace needs proper air flow through the burner. Air is drawn into the burner from the surrounding area or from outside the home. If the furnace is located in a utility closet or in a cramped storage room there may not be sufficient available air for the furnace to heat properly *see manufacturers recommendations for proper furnace ventilation. If the furnace draws air from outside the home check for an obstruction at the air inlet.

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