Kenmore Furnace Faults: What You Need to Know

Believe it or not, your furnace is one of the most important appliances in your home. It’s also one that many homeowners take for granted until they experience an issue with it. Between frequent power outages and cold temperatures, the winter months can be challenging for any home. Keeping a close watch on your furnace is key to avoiding serious problems and repairs later on. But what are some common issues with Kenmore furnaces? And how can you address them before they turn into a major problem? The following troubleshooting guide has all the information you need to keep your furnace running smoothly throughout the winter and beyond.

Check the filter and clean it if necessary.

Most Kenmore furnaces come equipped with a filter that catches dirt, dust, and other airborne contaminants. These filters are an essential part of your furnace system, as they keep your indoor air clean and promote good indoor health. Over time, however, these filters become clogged with dust and can no longer do their job. If your filter is old and dirty, it’s best to replace it before it becomes completely clogged and impacts airflow. If your furnace has a pleated filter, you can vacuum it to remove excess dust and debris. If, however, your furnace has a disposable filter, you’ll need to replace it every three months or as needed to ensure proper airflow. If your filter is dirty but not completely clogged, you can also try washing it with soapy water to remove dirt and dust without removing its cleaning ability.

Check the motor carbon.

Many Kenmore furnaces come equipped with an internal motor carbon that helps regulate airflow and temperature. While this motor carbon is a helpful tool in controlling your furnace, it can also collect dust and other debris, causing it to overheat and wear out more quickly. If you notice reduced air flow through your furnace, it could be a sign that your motor carbon has become clogged. You can check for this problem by opening the furnace’s air distribution panel and looking for a black, carbon-like substance clogging the motor carbon. If this is your issue, you can use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dust and debris from the motor carbon. If your motor carbon is clogged and you do not address the problem, it can cause your furnace to overheat and shut down.

Check for a clogged vent.

If your furnace cannot expel hot air through the ductwork, it can become overheated and shut down. If you’re experiencing this problem, you may need to clean the ductwork and check for a clogged vent to ensure proper airflow. You can easily check your furnace’s vent for clogs by removing the furnace’s main access panel and looking for debris, leaves, and other small objects. If you find a clog, you can use a vacuum with a long hose to remove it without taking the duct apart. If you clean your furnace vent regularly, you can avoid costly repairs due to clogs and blockages.

Check for blockages in the flue.

If you notice that your furnace is running excessively and turns off repeatedly, check for blockages in the flue. The flue is the pipe that expels exhaust gases into the outdoors. If it becomes blocked, your furnace will not be able to expel the hot gases properly, causing it to overheat and shut down. To check for blockages in your flue, open the furnace’s air distribution panel and look for debris, leaves, and other small objects that may be blocking the flue. If you find a blockage, use a long vacuum with a hose to remove it without taking the flue apart. To prevent flue blockages, ensure the flue is not blocked by the surrounding environment, such as leaves or grass, branches, or shrubs.

Check for faulty burner(s)

If you notice that one of your furnace’s burners is not igniting, it could be due to a faulty burner. You can easily check for this issue by turning off the power to your furnace, opening the air distribution panel, and looking at each burner. If one or more burners are not glowing red or heating up, it could be due to a faulty component. If you notice a faulty burner or one or more of your burners have stopped working, it’s best to contact a professional to address the issue before it causes more serious problems.

Check for defective parts.

If you’ve tried all of the above furnace troubleshooting tips and are still experiencing issues with your furnace, you may have a problem with a defective part. Check your furnace’s manual to see any known issues with the model you own. Suppose you’ve ruled out other potential issues and have determined that you have a defective part. In that case, you may want to consider calling a professional to avoid causing further damage to your furnace. While it can be tempting to fix a furnace issue on your own, it’s best to get help from someone who has experience dealing with furnace issues. Getting in touch with a qualified HVAC professional can help you resolve furnace issues more quickly and save money on repairs and maintenance.


Your furnace is an essential part of keeping your home comfortable and warm during the winter, but it’s also a complex piece of equipment that can break down. If your furnace is over ten years old, it may be time to think about a replacement. A new furnace is a sizable investment, but it will save you money in the long run. However, before you buy a new furnace, it’s important to familiarize yourself with common furnace faults and how to troubleshoot them.