Basic furnace troubleshooting is an essential skill that all homeowners should posses. It will always prove to be useful during the colder months of the year. Despite the general resilience of furnaces, they can still suffer from different issues from time to time. When it happens, the comfort of the family, and the safety of the home may be compromised. Advanced issues should be handled by licensed HVAC technicians, though homeowners can perform simple troubleshooting themselves.
This list includes the necessary steps for furnace troubleshooting that are suitable for homeowners.
Our furnaces save us from the biting cold during autumn and winter. They work hard to keep us warm and comfortable. The hard work of the system leads to wear and tear. Components may eventually get damaged, and the system could grind to a halt if there are no periodic interventions. Furnaces require regular maintenance. A licensed HVAC contractor should check the system at least once a year to perform minor repairs and tune-ups. This level of consistency prevents small matters from spiraling into major headaches. It keeps operational and furnace repair costs down while maintaining high energy efficiency.
Troubleshoot: The best way to keep the furnace out of trouble is to schedule annual professional maintenance service.
One of the most common issues faced by older furnaces is having dirty air filters. These devices capture impurities in the air and improve indoor air quality in your home. When these are working well, you will benefit bhy breathing in clean and safe air. The problem is that dust and dirt can eventually overwhelm these filters. The surfaces get clogged, which negatively affects airflow and the air you breathe.
Troubleshoot: Inspect the air filters as often as possible. All HVAC experts recommend a monthly check. Clogged filters must be taken out for cleaning or replacement as necessary.
If your heating system features electric ignition, then your difficulties in turning it on may be electrical. Also, a problematic pilot will prevent a furnace from heating a home. Remember that you must not force electronic igniters to work through manual lighting. This has a different mechanism such that it must only be lit if the unit is receiving power. Check the owner’s manual for guidance or, better yet, call an experienced HVAC company to help you out.
Troubleshoot: Start with the circuit breaker. Fix it is it is tripped, then proceed to inspect the unit. There may be drafts or clogs, preventing ignition. If your efforts don’t improve the situation, then call for a licensed HVAC technician right away.
Sometimes a furnace will not turn on due to a faulty thermostat. You will have to check the component to see what’s going on. This is usually a simple matter that is easy to fix. For example, it may have run out of battery power. Just install new ones, and it will be good to go. The worst-case scenario is that the thermostat needs a replacement.
Troubleshoot: Try switching the thermostat off and on for a quick reset. You may also try shutting down the whole system, waiting for a few minutes, and turning it back on to see if this improves the situation. Get a fresh set of batteries. If it is still unresponsive, then get help from an HVAC contractor.
The furnace is expected to produce hot air to counter the cold outside temperatures. If it is blowing cold air, then there is something wrong. Possible reasons include clogged filters, no power, improper thermostat setting, and pilot light failure. In some cases, the furnace is simply incapable of providing warm air for a variety of reasons.
Troubleshoot: The size of the furnace should match the needs of your home. If the unit is too small, then you will have to upgrade to a bigger size. Also, if the filters are dirty, then replace them right away. If there is no fuel, then schedule a delivery. If there is no power, then check the circuit breaker and the connections. Verify that the temperature setting is correct. If you inspect all of this and still can’t determine the cause, call an HVAC company.
Furnaces are designed to produce heat until the rooms achieve the desired temperature. It can then stop doing so until the temperature drops again and it is required to generate more warmth. Cycling happens at reasonable intervals to save energy while keeping the components in good shape. If the furnace switches on and off at an unusually high frequency, then you should investigate the underlying issue. It could be a furnace sizing mismatch, dirty filters, faulty thermostat, or overheating.
Troubleshoot: See whether the thermostat is still in good shape and working properly. If it is too close to the window or a heat source, then it may be receiving a bad temperature reading that results in odd behaviors. Short cycling may also be caused by a size mismatch between the unit and the home. If the problem turns out to be a damaged heat exchanger, then call an HVAC technician.
Furnace blowers will sometimes need to stop. If yours is blowing all the time, then this could point to an issue with a limit switch. It may be possible to turn off this switch manually. Check the current setting and adjust as necessary.
Troubleshoot: You can leave the switch at the automatic setting to stop it from running all the time. In case the switch itself is damaged, then have an HVAC contractor repair it.
If you’ve had the furnace for a while, then you should be able to differentiate normal sounds and odd noises. Anything out of the ordinary might be warning signs that merit further investigation. Clicks, booms, clangs, and screeches may be due to internal component failure. Odd smells could also signify danger.
Troubleshoot: Sometimes, this is an airflow issue, and the best way to solve it is to check the filters. If the problem is due to a blocked burner or a mechanical issue, then it would be best to leave the repairs to a trained furnace technician.
Most homeowners are capable of learning and implementing the most basic troubleshooting strategies. Getting the right information will allow them to do the steps safely. Understanding how the furnace operates will give you a better appreciation of the unit and an improved judgment about the things that you can do for it. If the task is simple enough, such as a filter replacement, then you can go ahead. If it is complex, then it’s best to call a technician.
Tower Energy is a respected provider of heating and cooling services in the region. Only the best NATE certified technicians are hired to be part of the team. You can expect high-quality repairs, installations, replacements, and tune-ups. Every member of the team has the expertise to offer excellent HVAC services.
If you need repairs or replacement, then give Tower Energy a call. Enjoy competitive rates and superior workmanship. Call us today to arrange a scheduled visit with a free estimate.