Common Furnace Problems and Solutions
Your furnace is how your home can give you a warm welcome even in the dead of winter. However, the process of circulating hot air throughout your home can be taxing on your system. This means that you can expect electric or gas furnace problems to spring up every now and then.
Although these kinds of issues are commonplace, their respective solutions are as well. These usually prove relatively easy to resolve. Follow along with Florida Academy’s list of typical furnace problems to find out how a call to a professional HVAC repair technician can provide you with simple resolutions.
Thermostat Heat Setting Isn’t Turned On
Before you call a professional, double-check that your thermostat is both on and switched to the “heat” setting. Should it be off, it could have been due to a household member accidentally switching it off, adjusting it too far, or just that the batteries died. In any case—you can correct this kind of mistake yourself.
Furnace Isn’t Receiving Electric Power
Another furnace complication you can take care of yourself as a homeowner is assessing whether or not the furnace is plugged in. If so, determine whether your circuit breaker has been tripped. If your breaker is off or caught between “on” and “off,” flip it to off and wait before turning it back on. If your furnace stops working because of a breaker trip again, contact an electrician to check out the wiring and breaker connections.
Furnace Is Producing a Grinding/Scraping Noise
Do you hear an abrasive sound coming from the blower motor of your furnace? Turn off your furnace right away and have a furnace repair contractor come out to your home. You will need expert help replacing the system’s worn-out ball bearings.
Furnace Is Producing a Shrieking/Squealing Sound
Your furnace may be screaming for help because of a worn-out or loose blower belt. Depending on how handy you are, you can replace the blower belt with a store-bought one, or tighten it yourself. Avoid going so far on tightening that it exacerbates wear and tear. Otherwise, you can skip this chore by hiring a technician to reliably complete the work instead.
Pilot Light or Ignition System Isn’t Working
If your furnace is heated using a pilot light, contact an HVAC repair professional to complete the home furnace repair as it could have a number of causes: faulty thermocouple, blocked pilot opening, low flame heat, or even a faulty safety switch—which would require immediate expert attention.
An important note: always wait a couple of minutes after turning off the gas valve before relighting the pilot light so a dangerous gas build-up doesn’t occur.
The flame sensor of an electric ignition system will shut down your system every time it cannot detect flames, even if it’s just dirty. If your sensor could use a cleanse, turn off the unit power or flip your circuit breaker, shut off the gas, remove the flame sensor or thin metal rod at the burner assembly, carefully rub it on a rough surface, and wipe the sensor before reattaching.
Air Filters Aren’t Clean
Look out for your heat constantly cycling on and off or even not being at hot as usual as signs that you should change your air filters.
If your filters are clogged with dust and other debris for an extended period of time, it can lead to a complete system shutdown. This is because your furnace will have to work harder than normal to get the air to circulate past the gunked up filter openings, which will overheat the heat exchanger. This will have you paying more money for less heat in your home and a shorter furnace life cycle.
Access Panel Isn’t Properly Closed
As an added manufacturing safety feature, if the access panel to inspect the inside of your furnace unit isn’t sealed shut, the furnace won’t start up until it is. Double-check that your access panel is properly closed up before scheduling a technician to come to your household.
Burner Isn’t Clean
Your burner can’t release gas and heat up your home if the burner opening is clogged. As the homeowner, you’ll be able to tell if your furnace is burning efficiently if the light is blue. Any other color signifies the presence of burning dust and debris. You may also hear a notable sound when a dirty burner is ignited. Rather than trying to dangerously clean a burner yourself, contact an HVAC repair expert to handle it.
Heat Exchanger Is Broken
If your heat exchanger cracks or breaks, carbon monoxide can leak into your home and endanger the health of your family. You’ll want to keep an eye out for soot appearing in the furnace interior, an overpoweringly-unpleasant smell, and even flu-like symptoms, headaches, eye irritation, and other health issues experienced by yourself, pets, or loved ones.
If you have any inclination that you’re dealing with a gas leak from a cracked heat exchanger, immediately shut off the gas and call your local gas company.
Florida Academy HVAC/R Technology Program
Do you want to learn more about how to repair a furnace? Do you feel like there’s something there for you when it comes to venting, air filtration, and other repairs in the world of HVAC? Pursue your future and enroll in the nationally-accredited Florida Academy HVAC/R Technology program.
We make going back to school affordable, accessible, and convenient through our 600-hour evening curriculum led by experienced instructors. Located in Fort Myers, Florida; our program centers around learning about cutting-edge equipment by the industry’s big names such as Carrier, Bryant, and Lennox.
Help create the opportunity to jumpstart your career after graduation—take advantage of this interactive course study where students like you will get to complete repairs that involve the cut and assembly of gas line black pipe and the wiring of voltage lines to heating/cooling equipment. You’ll also get to work with air conditioning units, furnaces, heat pumps, commercial RTUs, and electrical boards to hit the ground running when you enter the field. This is especially true as all graduates receive lifetime career services to support your pursuit of employment.
When it comes to your future, you’ll want to select a program structured with your best interest in mind. That’s why Florida Academy’s engaging, practical Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC/R Technology) program makes your decision an easy one.