What is a Furnace Reset Button?

hand holding furnace reset button

A furnace reset button is an important feature included with your residential HVAC system. Designed to shut the unit off quickly, the function is key to safely heating your home. If your furnace reset button keeps tripping, it’s likely that your furnace is overheating. This may indicate a need for furnace repair services.

Need an emergency furnace repair? Call or request an appointment online.

All furnaces are equipped with a reset button. They are generally red or yellow and are located inside the blower compartment. The reset button is a safety feature that will shut down the furnace when a problem is detected, often a hot or overheating furnace, before it trips the circuit breaker.

It's not uncommon for a furnace to require resetting on occasion. However, if the furnace frequently requires resetting, the furnace should be inspected by a furnace repair expert.

What Can Cause the Reset Button to Trip?

Furnace reset buttons may be triggered by several different scenarios, including:

  • Loss of Fuel
    If you have a gas or oil furnace, the reset button may trip if you are out of fuel. This fix is as simple as ensuring fuel is in either the gas or oil tank. If this is the case, when you call for a refill, let them know that the tank is empty and will need to be primed.
  • Blocked or Closed Gas Valves
    Blocked or closed valves could be another reason the tank reset button keeps tripping. Checking to see if any of the valves have been closed accidentally could help solve the problem.
  • Overheating
    If a furnace isn’t receiving enough airflow, it may overheat and trigger the reset button to trip. Make sure to clean or replace the air filters and keep the air vents open enough for proper airflow.
  • A Dirty Flame Sensor
    Occasionally, the flame sensor rod may be coated with dirt and debris, causing the furnace to shut off. Keeping the flame sensor rod clean by wiping it off regularly will help keep this from happening.
  • A Dirty Air Filter
    A clogged or dirty air filter may cause the furnace to trip. Changing or cleaning your HVAC air filter regularly (at least quarterly) will help to reduce the strain on your furnace and keep it functioning properly.

How to Reset a Gas Furnace

When you are ready to reset your furnace, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the pilot light is out.  
  2. Turn down the thermostat temperature setting as low as it will go.
  3. Turn off the power supply to the furnace by turning off the breaker in the circuit box.
  4. Turn off the main gas supply to the furnace, leaving the pilot gas supply line on.
  5. Relight the pilot light by holding a lit match to the pilot flame jet’s opening.
  6. Turn the circuit breaker back on, and then turn the main gas supply back on.
  7. Press and hold the reset button for about 30 seconds and raise the temperature on the thermostat.

How to Reset an Electric Furnace

Gas furnaces are even faster to reset. Follow these simple steps:

  1. First, turn off the power supply to the furnace by turning off the breaker in the circuit box.
  2. Locate the reset button on the furnace and press it to reset the furnace. It is usually located inside the blower compartment on the side of the blower motor. Be cautious, as the housing may be hot.  
  3. If the button is popped up, press it down.
  4. Return the cover to the blower compartment and turn the power on.

Breathe Easy with Furnace Reset Assistance from Aire Serv

If your unit continues to trip the reset button or if you require assistance in restarting your furnace, choose Aire Serv. Breathe easy knowing our expert technicians are on the job. Call or request an appointment online to get started.