November 14, 2021
A furnace is crucial for comfort and survival in cold winter weather. Without it, we would still be huddling around wood fires to stay warm. Unfortunately, furnaces need regular professional tune-ups and homeowner upkeep to run strongly and efficiently.
Even with proper maintenance, however, furnaces can break down and develop problems that impede regular functioning. If your furnace is acting up or refusing to turn on, go over these furnace troubleshooting tips first, before you call in the pros.
The first thing you want to check is the air filter. Over time, furnace filters get dirty. Dirt and dust can quickly clog the filter, which impedes airflow, worsens indoor air quality, and can even prevent the furnace from turning on in some cases. It can also become a fire hazard and cause premature breakdowns due to excessive dust and dirt.
After verifying that your furnace filter is clean and installed properly, check the thermostat.
Sometimes, the filter and thermostat are fine. Instead, power could be the problem.
Warning: Make sure your hands and feet are completely dry before attempting to reset power. If there are any signs of electrical damage or moisture, or you don’t feel comfortable, don’t touch anything and contact a qualified electrician right away.
Your furnace flame should be a healthy blue color, with perhaps a small yellowish tip. The blue flame indicates that your gas furnace is burning the fuel safely and efficiently.
If the flame is red, yellow, purple, green, or any other color than blue, contact a professional right away. Never attempt to fix your furnace flame color on your own.
If you go to check the furnace flame and it is out, you will need to relight it. While you can relight the pilot on your own, be extra careful and consult your owner’s manual for proper instructions.
Don’t forget to turn off the gas for around 10-15 minutes before attempting to relight the pilot. If you continue to smell any gas, do not continue! You may have a leak, in which case, you should evacuate the household immediately and call your gas company and the fire department at a safe distance.
If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Follow your manufacturer’s instructions for properly securing the access panel. Many furnaces will not operate if the panel is not pressed in all the way.
Sometimes, your furnace is running but your rooms aren’t getting the proper heat or airflow. Inspect your entire home for all the supply and return grilles. They should all be fully opened and unobstructed.
Make sure there are no rugs, furniture, or anything else restricting the flow of air. Not only will blocked vents and registers affect your comfort, they can also lead to duct leaks due to excessive air pressure and premature HVAC repairs and breakdowns. Closing off vents and registers in unused rooms is NOT a good idea. You won’t save any extra money and will end up causing more problems for your heating system.
When in doubt, call a professional