Every homeowner who has a furnace must learn the basics of furnace troubleshooting. This kind of skill is essential during the colder months when households are heavily reliant on their heating system. Although furnaces are hardy, they are not immune to failure. They will succumb to wear and tear over time. The damage will cause issues that reduce comfort and endanger the family.
Some problems are so complex that you should leave them for a professional HVAC contractor. However, other issues can benefit from your attention with basic troubleshooting steps.
Causes & Solutions For Common Furnace Concerns
- 1 Causes & Solutions For Common Furnace Concerns
- 1.1 1. Failure To Provide Regular Furnace Maintenance
- 1.2 2. Dirty HVAC Air Filters
- 1.3 3. Furnace Electric Ignitor Or Pilot Control Issues
- 1.4 4. Thermostat Malfunction
- 1.5 5. Cold Air Coming From The Furnace
- 1.6 6. Furnace Is Short Cycling
- 1.7 7. Furnace Blower Runs All The Time
- 1.8 8. Odd Noises And Odors From The Furnace
- 1.9 Call Lawes Company for Furnace Repairs And Replacement
Let’s delve deeper into a few of the furnace troubleshooting strategies that all homeowners should be able to manage.
1. Failure To Provide Regular Furnace Maintenance
One of the biggest reasons why heating systems fail prematurely is that they don’t get enough care. This leaves them vulnerable, especially during winter, when they are pushed to their limits. Lack of regular heating system maintenance means that problems get worse until the system simply breaks down.
The good news is that periodic furnace maintenance is cheap and straightforward. With annual furnace tune-ups, basic troubleshooting, and professional HVAC repairs when needed, the furnace should be able to operate efficiently for a long time. Be proactive instead of waiting for the damage to worsen before taking action. Delays can lead to expensive heater repairs later on.
Troubleshoot: Make it a habit to call for professional inspection every year. It is best to schedule an annual furnace tune-up in the fall, right before the cold weather hits.
2. Dirty HVAC Air Filters
HVAC filters get dirty over time. A furnace’s performance will suffer from dirty, clogged filters. These passive barriers are present to reduce the number of contaminants in the air flowing across the system. They protect the household by improving indoor air quality. The problem is that their job takes its toll on the airflow when dirt blocks free movement and reduces system efficiency.
Troubleshoot: Inspect the furnace filters each month. Clean or replace them as necessary.
3. Furnace Electric Ignitor Or Pilot Control Issues
If you have an electrical ignition system, then it is reasonable to assume that related problems are electrical in nature. Faulty pilots prevent the furnace from heating the home. Problematic electronic igniters shouldn’t be subjected to manual lighting. Attempt to relight if there is power and consult the owner’s manual for what you should do. Better yet, call an HVAC contractor for assistance.
Troubleshoot: Inspect the circuit breaker to see if there is tripping. Fix it then look for other issues such as drafts or clogs. If the ignition problem persists, have a professional HVAC contractor take a look as soon as possible.
4. Thermostat Malfunction
A faulty thermostat will lead to issues with the furnace. This is one of the easiest cases to troubleshoot, however, so there is no need to worry. Fixes are often cheap except for a thermostat replacement. A failure to display temperature readings point to an issue with the batteries.
Troubleshoot: Turn the system on and off to reset the thermostat. You might also shut the power down completely before turning it back on. See if replacing the batteries improves the situation. If not, then it’s wise to refer the problem to an HVAC technician.
5. Cold Air Coming From The Furnace
The furnace is expected to produce warm air. If it is blowing cold air instead, then something is definitely wrong. The problem might be anything from a clogged filter, no power, no gas, a pilot light, or an improper setting. Sometimes the culprit is mismatched sizing with the furnace. A furnace that is too small for your home cannot heat the amount of space in the house correctly.
Troubleshoot: Ask an HVAC company to perform load calculations to see if the furnace has enough capacity for the home. A unit that is too small, you will need an upgrade. You might also end up having to clean the air filters, check the fuel, and verify that the furnace is receiving power. See whether the thermostat settings are on point.
6. Furnace Is Short Cycling
Furnace short cycling happens when the furnace switches on and off again at a higher than normal frequency. The bursts of activity are shorter and more noticeable than it should be. This might happen if the air filters are dirty, the temperature settings are wrong, the unit sizing is mismatched with the home, or the system is overheating.
Troubleshoot: Investigate whether the thermostat is working as it should. Look for nearby sources of heat that might be influencing the thermostat’s sensors. This includes sunlight, lamps, or stoves. It might be sensing a skewed temperature and causing the furnace to act oddly. Also, ask an HVAC contractor to check the suitability of the furnace size to your home. Furthermore, if the heat exchanger is damaged, then the pros should handle its replacement.
7. Furnace Blower Runs All The Time
Furnace blowers should start and stop at the right time. If they keep going even when they should cease operation, then there is a good chance that the limit switch is the culprit. Turn this manually if the option is available on your model. You might be able to choose whether to set it to automatic or manual.
Troubleshoot: Usually, placing the switch at the automatic setting will keep the fan from running all the time. However, a broken limit switch will not act as it should, and so you are better off calling a licensed contractor to fix the issue.
8. Odd Noises And Odors From The Furnace
Odd noises are signs that something is wrong inside the unit. Don’t ignore them when you hear them. Make a note of when you noticed the booming, screeching, clanging, and clicking. Take note of unusual odors as they might be signs of danger.
Troubleshoot: It could be an airflow issue, so check the air filters for clogs. It could also be a clogged burner or a mechanical issue. These should not be treated as DIY projects. Call an HVAC expert who has the knowledge and skills to deal with the problem.
Call Lawes Company for Furnace Repairs And Replacement
The right information is key to performing furnace troubleshooting steps correctly and safely. Homeowners must learn how their heating system works and the limits of what they can do for it. Minor cases, such as filter replacements, can be solved right away without calling a technician. If you can understand how the furnace works, then it will reward you by operating efficiently.
Lawes Company offers excellent HVAC services in the area. Our NATE certified technicians can all perform repairs, replacements, installation, and tune-ups with a high level of workmanship. Their skills and experience are second to none.
Don’t fret if you need a furnace repair or replacement. With Lawes Company, you will always be in good hands. We can offer you reasonable rates while delivering top-notch services. We value your comfort and satisfaction. Call now to schedule an appoint and get a free estimate.