Common Furnace Problems and What to Do About Them
The last thing you want on a cold winter night is to have your furnace fail. Many problems can be prevented with routine maintenance or can be handled by a homeowner, but serious furnace issues should be addressed by professionals.
The Importance of Routine Maintenance
Have your furnace professionally inspected and maintained annually. That can help it run efficiently, prevent problems, or allow a technician to address issues before the furnace fails. A professional can also show you how to change your furnace’s filter.
Potential Causes of Furnace Problems
- If the furnace is not producing enough heat, make sure the thermostat is set to “Heat” mode and is set to a temperature that is higher than the current temperature in the house. You might have changed the settings when the weather turned warmer and forgotten to change them back when it got colder.
- A malfunctioning thermostat can affect the functioning of the fan. You might be able to fix it by replacing the battery, or you might need to call a technician. If your furnace continuously cycles between “On” and “Off,” there could be a clogged filter or a problem with the thermostat.
- An issue with the electric ignition or pilot can make a furnace unable to provide enough heat. This can be caused by a broken part, a computer problem, a draft, or a clog. You can close doors or windows to prevent drafts, but other issues should be addressed by a professional.
- If the blower runs continuously or the furnace cycles faster than it should make sure the thermostat is set to “Auto.” A problem with the blower might also be caused by a belt issue. The fix could be as simple as lubricating the belt, or the blower motor or another part might need to be replaced.
- Sometimes the burner that heats the air that is circulated throughout the house doesn’t light, which can lead to little or no heat. It could be dirty or need to be adjusted. A professional will have to look inside the furnace to diagnose the issue.
- A furnace should be relatively quiet. If you hear unusual noises, there could be several explanations. Call a furnace repair technician.
Furnaces often become damaged or worn out through simple wear and tear. Let a technician diagnose and fix these issues. Trying to do so yourself could create worse problems and void your warranty.