I am sure that you, just like every Canadian, rely on your furnace for warmth during the winter season. And when you put your full trust on something, you don’t expect it to fail on you. However, in some instances, they do. Instances when your furnace fails are usually due to some precautions that you may have failed to perform before the winter arrived. We have listed some of the most common problems that one furnace owner can encounter.
- Poor maintenance - Your system always requires an annual maintenance and inspection that will keep the unit from unwanted breakdowns or problems. If you fail to schedule one, then you are up to something terrible. Remember that this annual inspection and maintenance help in keeping your appliance efficient and in top condition.
- Wear and tear – Just like everything else, your furnace goes through the usual wear and tear. If you neglect normal wear and tear, it can cause airflow problems, overheating or any heat control-related problems.
- Thermostat malfunction – A malfunctioning thermostat can lead to issues with comfort levels and problems with the unit’s fans.
- Dirty filters - Airflow is very important in air conditioning systems. Dirty filters cause restriction in the airflow, causing your system to work harder. If left uncleaned, your dirty filter can sometimes cause damage to the limit switch (switch that controls the fans).
- The furnace is not heating at all - It can only mean that there is a problem with the power, gas, thermostat setting, or the pilot light.
- Pilot control or electric ignition problems - If you have a faulty pilot or ignition, the system will find it difficult to warm any space or your home. Any clogs, drafts, or thermo couple problems may cause an unlit pilot light.
- The furnace is not heating enough - Dirty filters can cause this problem. However, take note that this can also happen if your furnace is not sized properly. A furnace that is not sized correctly will often result to insufficient heating problems.
- The blower does not stop from running - This problem is usually related to the limit switch. In cases like this, it would require an HVAC professional to have it replaced.
- Frequent cycling – If your furnace is cycling frequently than it should, this can be caused by improper airflow, a bad thermostat setting or a clogged and dirty filter.
- The furnace makes too much noise - There are noises that don’t seem normal such as squeaking, rattling and rumbling. These may be due to airflow reductions, a mechanical problem, or a clogged burner.
Now that you are aware of the most common furnace problems, allow us to give you some tips that will help you get your furnace problems sorted out.
- Regularly change your filters. The number of times you will need to change the filter will depend on the manufacturer’s directions, but generally, you can clean or replace your filters once a month. The procedure can be shown to you by a professional or you may also refer to your manual for instructions.
- Check the thermostat. If it seems like the furnace isn’t heating, check the thermostat. If the thermostat is battery-operated, you can simply change the battery. If the blower runs continuously or if the system cycles frequently, check to see that the fan setting on the thermostat is on “Auto”. It will keep on running if the setting is at “on”, “high”, “medium” or “low”. If it doesn’t seem to be heating, then the thermostat should be on “Heat” mode. Then, the temperature should be set at anything higher than the room temperature. If nothing is working, you may have to purchase a new one. Be sure to have a thermostat that matches your system.
- Check the power supply and the circuit breaker. If nothing is working and the thermostat has gone blank, check if power cord was unplugged, the circuit breaker was tripped or if the fuse was blown.
- Reduce drafts. Close the doors and the windows in the room if the problem with the pilot light is being caused by a draft.
- Maintenance. Before the winter season starts, have your unit checked by a professional so he can assess the unit and have it functioning perfectly fine, preventing any potential issues from arising, especially during the cold weather.
- Proper installation of the furnace. In replacing a furnace, have a furnace contractor identify the right size and type of system that is needed for your house. It is also best to have a professional install the unit to ensure that all the right connections are made.
- Check for pilot light or ignition control problems. These problems usually result from faulty electrical or clogged components. When you encounter these problems, remember that this should be handled by a professional.
- Mechanical issues. Mechanical wear and tear should also be taken care of by professionals. If handled alone, you might void the warranty and even cause a bigger and costly problem.
- Natural or propane gas problems. Problems with gas valves due to a malfunction in the gas pressure regulator require the expertise of a professional to make sure that you and your family are secure.
Any problem that cannot be resolved by simple troubleshooting steps should be left in the hands of the professionals. Furnaces pose gas-related safety hazards so if issues are beyond your troubleshooting knowledge or capability, call a professional to examine your system.Don't make these furnace mistakes.