How To Troubleshoot Your Furnace Properly

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Experts recommend homeowners to be armed with simple furnace troubleshooting skills. They will come in handy when the chilly months come knocking. Most furnaces have a sturdy build; however, they are not indestructible. When signs of aging and the effects of wear and tear start showing, it impacts the safety and comforts of the home.

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Furnace Troubleshooting All Homeowners Can Use

While most furnace issues are not DIY problems, you can execute some furnace troubleshooting steps to check your heating system. Below are some tips every homeowner can utilize to maintain the safety and comfort of their homes.

1. Lack Of Furnace Maintenance

Often, furnaces are put to work, running for extended hours during the cold months. In some cases, they are expected to operate normally for extended periods, depending on the weather. However, how can they perform well if they do not get routine maintenance? Your heating equipment is bound to break down due to components that were subjected to wear and tear when being overworked. Regular furnace maintenance is not that complicated or expensive. However, it offers a lot in return.

It is important that you hire a certified HVAC company to carry out repairs and annual tune-ups. Avoid waiting for the issues to worsen as they generally result in extensive and costly HVAC repairs. The earlier the problems are noted and corrected, the lesser the home’s risk of losing the warm indoor comforts during the cold months.

Troubleshoot: Let an experienced and trustworthy professional inspect the heating unit at least once a year.

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2. Dirty Furnace Filter

When it concerns forced-air furnaces, one of the issues to expect is a dirty air filter every so often. The filter is meant to manage particulate levels in the air that the unit distributes throughout the house. Therefore, the air filters are tasked with ensuring that everyone in the home breathes safe, clean air. The filters collect dust and debris over time, thus getting clogged and inefficient in cleaning the air. The remedy for this is to clean the filters or replace them if they are dirty.

Troubleshoot: Inspect the filters once a month and clean or replace them as necessary. Every home is different and so your HVAC filter replacement schedule will change be based on many different factors.


3. Electric Ignition & Pilot Control Glitches

At times, the electric ignition might be glitchy, leading to an electrical issue. The furnace will fail to heat your home if the pilot is out. Avoid trying to light up the furnace manually if it uses an electronic igniter. You should attempt to do this only if the unit has power; however, it is wise to reference the owner’s manual to confirm the steps to take.

Troubleshoot: Start with the circuit breaker to confirm it is not tripped. If it is, fix it and check whether the furnace is running. Inspect it for drafts and clogs. Call an experienced HVAC technician if the unit fails to restart.

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4. Malfunctioning Thermostat

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If the furnace’s thermostat does not turn the unit on based on the settings, the thermostat could be damaged or faulty. Fixing this issue should not be costly since it is a relatively straightforward, troubleshooting job. However, the costs can shoot up if you discover that you must replace or upgrade the thermostat. At times, the thermostat might not display a temperature reading because it is not receiving any power.

Troubleshoot: Switch off the furnace and turn it off for a few seconds to reset the thermostat. If the thermostat is battery-powered, replace the dead batteries with new ones. If these steps do not yield any results, call an HVAC company to come and inspect your unit.

5. Furnace Blowing Cold Air

Reasons for your furnace dispensing cold air will vary. The temperature setting might be incorrect. The circuit breaker has tripped, the filter is clogged, or the pilot control is malfunctioning. Conversely, the problem could stem from the unit having an insufficient capacity because it is too small to heat your home.

Troubleshoot: Start with assessing the furnace’s size to ensure it is the ideal one for your home. You can request an HVAC installation and servicing contractor to help. Plan for an upgrade if your unit is too small to service your home. Check the pilot control, clean or replace the air filter, check the power, and make sure the thermostat temperature setting is correct.

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6. Furnace Is Frequently Cycling

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Short or frequent cycling is when your heating equipment switches on and off frequently. The unit will have short and constant bursts of activity that might go unnoticed, especially if there is some dispensed heat. But this is a sign of a problem caused by the unit overheating, dirty air filters, incorrect temperature reading, and the furnace being too small to service the house effectively.

Troubleshoot: Examine the thermostat to confirm it is not damaged, and the temperature setting is correct. Direct heat from the stove, the sun, or another heat source may affect the thermostat, causing the thermostat to display the wrong temperature readings. Call an HVAC specialist to check the furnace for damage. They can offer the best repairs and suitable solutions.

7. Furnace Blower Continuously Runs

If the furnace cycles nonstop, it means that the limit switch has a problem; that is why the unit keeps running when it should stop. For some models, you can turn off the switch manually. If you have such a furnace, check to confirm that it is in manual mode and adjust accordingly.

Troubleshoot: If you will not be around, set the limit switch to automatic to stop the fan after attaining the desired temperature. However, if the switch has damage, let a licensed HVAC contractor inspect your unit and do the necessary repairs.

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8. Furnace Produces Unusual Noise Or Smells

image of a homeowner noticing a bad odor from furnace

If your unit starts making weird sounds, this is a sign of problems. Booming, clanking, screeching, and clicking noises are not worth ignoring. You also should be concerned if the furnace produces an unusual smell.

Troubleshoot: Examine the air filters if you are having trouble with airflow. The filter could be clogged because it is dirty. Avoid fixing the unit if the issue is mechanical; instead, call a professional HVAC company to handle the repairs.

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Every homeowner armed with the right information can perform simple furnace troubleshooting procedures safely. You should learn and understand your furnace to know how it works and what maintenance you can do safely. At times, fixing the problem does not require calling a professional.

Townsend Energy has certified HVAC specialists on staff that can provide superior heating and cooling services in the area. We do heating and cooling installations, maintenance, repairs, replacements, and more. All our technicians are experienced and highly knowledgeable in servicing all makes and models of HVAC systems.

Do you need a heating or cooling system replacement or repair? Your unit will be in good hands with Townsend Energy. We offer quality services at affordable rates. Our HVAC experts will check your HVAC system and recommend the solution while working within your budget. Indoor air quality, energy efficiency, excellent customer service are our topmost priorities. Get in touch with us today for a free inspection and in-home estimate.

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