How to Effectively Troubleshoot Your Furnace

Having a home furnace is extremely helpful in the cold winter months when your home needs all the help it can get to keep in warmth. But for many households, winter is also the time when the household furnace starts to show signs of trouble. When your furnace shuts down in the middle of a cold spell, it’s a stressful and unpleasant experience for everyone. However, if you know just what to do to figure out the problem through a process of elimination, you’ll be one step closer to getting your home’s heat back and going about business as usual. Even if your issue ends up requiring professional Furnace Repair, there are plenty of ways to troubleshoot that will help you get better at maintaining a furnace in the long run. If you’re trying to fix your furnace’s issues, here are a few common problems and solutions to draw from.

Your Furnace Isn’t Giving Off Heat

Of all the potential problems you may run into with your furnace, this is most inconvenient. When your furnace suddenly stops working, there might be a few different issues at play. Once you’ve made sure your thermostat is set to ‘heat,’ try resetting the furnace by turning it off and on again. Check the door of the furnace. Make sure it’s fully closed. Also, check the filter to see if it needs cleaning or replacing. If none of these things work, check to make sure the pilot light is on and that the flame sensor isn’t too dirty to function.

Your Furnace Keeps Switching On and Off

If your furnace is short-circuiting, you may have a bigger electrical problem on your hands. To make sure you’re not dealing with a larger issue, try checking your thermostat to see if it’s malfunctioning and causing your furnace to short cycle. Next, check your furnace’s flame sensor and air filter to see if it needs cleaning. If you’re finding that these parts are too dirty to work, call a professional to have them cleaned since you won’t want to risk working with such dangerous materials without professional guidance.

Your Blower Won’t Turn Off

Does the air from your heating system keep blowing all the time rather than starting and stopping to maximize energy efficiency? If so, this is a problem that usually has a much easier fix than most. Check your thermostat to see what fan settings you’re using for heating. If the fan is already set to ‘auto,’ change the setting and then change it back. If it’s set on ‘continuous,’ just change it back to the ‘auto’ setting. If this still doesn’t work, you may need to reset your fan switch with the help of a professional.

Your Furnace is Too Noisy

If you find your furnace making a ton of noise at night, don’t ignore it for too long. While it may start as an audible hum at first, a noise in your furnace could indicate a bigger problem. First, identify the sound you’re hearing. Does it sound like scraping, thumping, or humming? All these sounds can signify different possible problems with your furnace, from a busted blower wheel to a loose screw to a problem with your burner. Once you’ve identified the sound, call in a professional to see if you can have the issue fixed before it develops into a bigger problem.

Your Pilot Light is Out

When the pilot light goes out in one of your gas-powered home appliances, re-lighting it is a simple enough matter. However, it’s also a task homeowners should take on with extreme caution, since your pilot light, when extinguished, creates a pure jet of gas that could potentially be extremely dangerous to light. If you think your pilot light has been extinguished for a while and you’re noticing the smell of gas in the air, don’t try lighting it. If you’re not noticing an odor and your carbon monoxide detector hasn’t gone off, it’s most likely safe to try lighting the pilot light yourself.

Your Thermostat is Throwing Your Furnace Off

When something goes wrong with your furnace, the first thing to do in any scenario is to identify whether or not your thermostat is at fault. Turning your thermostat on and off and doing some simple tests to make sure it’s not malfunctioning should be simple enough. If you’ve made sure that your thermostat is set to ‘heat’ and the fan is on auto, you’ll be able to see if your thermostat is doing its job. Once you’ve determined that your thermostat is the problem, call in a professional to get it repaired or replaced.