How to Jumper a Furnace for Heat

How to Jumper a Furnace for Heat

How to Jumper a Furnace for Heat

Furnaces play a crucial role in keeping our homes warm during the chilly months. However, there might be instances where your furnace fails to function properly, leaving you in the cold. One quick and effective solution to get your furnace running again is by jumpering it for heat. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process step by step, ensuring your comfort is restored in no time.

Introduction to Furnace Jumpers

Before delving into the details of jumpering a furnace, let’s understand what it means. Furnace jumpers are temporary connections made between certain terminals in the furnace control board to bypass certain safety mechanisms or to test specific components. Jumpers are often used by HVAC technicians to diagnose and troubleshoot furnace issues quickly.

Safety Precautions Before Jumping a Furnace

Safety should always be the top priority when dealing with any electrical appliance, including furnaces. Before attempting to jumper your furnace, ensure you take the following precautions:

  • Turn off the power supply to the furnace from the main electrical panel.
  • Wait for the furnace to cool down completely to avoid the risk of burns.
  • Wear appropriate safety gear such as gloves and safety glasses to protect yourself from any potential hazards.

Tools and Equipment Needed

Gather the necessary tools and equipment before starting the jumpering process. You’ll typically need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Jumper wire (preferably insulated)
  • Multimeter (for testing purposes)
  • Safety gloves and glasses

Steps to Jumper a Furnace for Heat

Steps to Jumper a Furnace for Heat

Shutting Off Power to the Furnace

Begin by shutting off the power supply to the furnace. Locate the circuit breaker or fuse box and turn off the corresponding switch or remove the fuse.

Locating the Jumper Terminals

Next, identify the jumper terminals on the furnace control board. Refer to the furnace’s manual or look for markings indicating the terminals where jumpers can be placed.

Connecting the Jumper Wire

Take the insulated jumper wire and connect it between the designated terminals on the control board. Ensure the connections are secure to avoid any loose connections.

Testing the Furnace

Once the jumper wire is in place, turn the power supply back on and set the thermostat to the desired temperature. Observe the furnace’s operation and listen for any unusual noises. If the furnace starts heating up normally, the jumpering process was successful.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Sometimes, jumpering a furnace may not solve the issue entirely. Here are some common problems you might encounter and their possible solutions:

Blown Fuse or Tripped Circuit Breaker

If the furnace fails to start even after jumpering, check for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers in the electrical panel. Replace the fuse or reset the breaker if necessary.

Faulty Thermostat

A faulty thermostat can also prevent the furnace from heating properly. Test the thermostat using a multimeter and replace it if it’s defective.

Damaged Jumper Wire

Inspect the jumper wire for any signs of damage or wear. Replace the wire if it’s frayed or broken to ensure a secure connection.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your furnace can help prevent the need for jumpering in the first place. Schedule annual inspections and tune-ups with a qualified HVAC technician to ensure your furnace is operating efficiently and safely.

Changing Filters

One essential aspect of furnace maintenance is regularly changing the air filters. Clogged or dirty filters can restrict airflow and strain the furnace, leading to potential malfunctions. Check your filters monthly and replace them as needed.

Cleaning Ducts and Vents

Over time, dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate in the ducts and vents, hindering airflow and reducing heating efficiency. Periodically clean the ducts and vents to maintain optimal airflow and prevent potential issues with your furnace.

Upgrading Your Thermostat

Consider upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat for improved control over your heating system. These thermostats offer features such as programmable schedules, remote access, and energy-saving modes, allowing you to optimize comfort and efficiency.

Professional Maintenance Services

Regular maintenance by a professional HVAC technician is crucial for the longevity and efficiency of your furnace. Consider scheduling annual maintenance visits to ensure your furnace is operating at its best and to address any potential issues before they escalate.

Inspection and Cleaning

During a maintenance visit, the technician will inspect various components of your furnace, including the burner, heat exchanger, and ignition system. They will also clean any accumulated debris and ensure all parts are functioning correctly.

Lubrication and Adjustment

The technician will lubricate moving parts and make any necessary adjustments to ensure optimal performance and efficiency. This helps reduce wear and tear on the furnace and extends its lifespan.

Considerations for Older Furnaces

If you have an older furnace, it’s essential to consider its condition and efficiency. Older furnaces may be less energy-efficient and more prone to breakdowns. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to invest in a newer, more efficient furnace rather than continually repairing an older one.

Energy Efficiency

Newer furnaces are designed to be more energy-efficient, which can result in lower utility bills and reduced environmental impact. Consider upgrading to an Energy Star-certified furnace to maximize energy savings and minimize your carbon footprint.

Warranty and Longevity

New furnaces typically come with warranties that provide coverage for parts and labor for a certain period. This can provide peace of mind knowing that you’re protected against unexpected repair costs. Additionally, newer furnaces are likely to have a longer lifespan compared to older models.


Jumpering a furnace for heat can be a simple yet effective solution to get your heating system up and running again. By following the outlined steps and taking necessary precautions, you can troubleshoot furnace issues with ease and restore comfort to your home.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is it safe to jumper a furnace on my own?

While Jumpering a furnace is relatively straightforward, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Make sure to follow safety precautions and, if unsure, consult a professional HVAC technician.

Why would I need to jumper my furnace?

Jumpering a furnace is often done to bypass certain safety mechanisms temporarily for testing purposes or to diagnose specific issues with the heating system.

What if jumpering the furnace doesn’t solve the problem?

If jumpering the furnace doesn’t resolve the issue, there may be underlying problems that require professional diagnosis and repair. It’s advisable to seek assistance from a qualified HVAC technician.

Can I use any type of wire as a jumper?

It’s recommended to use insulated jumper wires specifically designed for electrical applications. Using the wrong type of wire can pose safety risks and potentially damage the furnace.

How often should I jumper my furnace?

Jumpering a furnace should only be done when troubleshooting specific issues or conducting maintenance tasks. It’s not something that needs to be done regularly unless there’s a problem with the heating system.

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