Your furnace is one of the most complex (and expensive) appliances in your home. So when it stops working there is no time to lose. Oftentimes, the solution is simple. To save you from having to make a service call, we’ve put together a troubleshooting checklist that’ll help you narrow down the problem.
1. Is your heat on?
To troubleshoot a furnace, start with the obvious. Is your thermostat set to “heat”? If yes, check that your temperature setting is high enough to activate the furnace. Remember: your furnace has to heat up first before the blower comes on. So, be patient. Keep your thermostat user guide stored near the thermostat. That way, you can consult its troubleshooting section when a start-up problem happens.
2. Are your batteries low?
A low thermostat can easily make your system act strangely. If your thermostat is battery operated, the cells may be dead. Many programmable thermostats feature a flashing “low battery” icon on their control screen. If you see a “low battery” warning, put in fresh batteries.
3. Is your furnace switch working?
If your thermostat is working, see if your furnace power switch is off. Look for the switch mounted on the side of the furnace. It may also be a simple light switch on the wall. Some furnaces have a switch with a fuse. Check to see if it’s blackened and burnt. If so, contact us to help you replace it.
4. Do you have a tripped breaker?
If the switch is on, but your furnace is still not working, check to see if you have a tripped breaker. Your breaker box is (hopefully) labeled “Furnace” or “HVAC” next to the correct breaker. If not, look for a tripped breaker and reset it, if you can.
If your furnace now has power, congratulations. But also beware — a tripped breaker and/or burnt fuse may indicate a bigger problem with your electrical system. If this is the case, once again, contact us to have one of our expert technicians come and diagnose the problem.
5. Is your front panel door secure?
Modern furnaces come with safety switches on their front panels that don’t allow the furnace to engage if it’s not properly closed. Check to see if your panel door is secure.
6. Is your pilot light on?
If you have a gas furnace, the pilot light must be on for it to work. Pilot ignition is a safety feature that ensures gas doesn’t flow through the burners until there’s a flame ready to ignite them. Lighting a pilot light can be dangerous. We recommend contacting us to handle it for you. We’ll also perform a combustion test and check your heat exchanger. If your flame is burning blue, you’re good. If it’s burning any other color, call us immediately.
7. Are your filters clogged?
In our article, “How often do I need to change my air filter?” we discuss the importance of keeping your air filter clean. Dirty and clogged furnace filters are a common problem. Air filters trap dust, hair, and other particles. If not changed regularly, they can restrict air flowing through your furnace system. Heat and pressure can build up to dangerous levels. Newer models have detectors that keep the furnace from operating if the filters are clogged.
Clogged filters also restrict airflow. Your furnace can be heating air, but not be able to transfer it. If so, it can’t heat your home. Change the filters and see if that solves the problem.
8. Are your vents and registers closed or blocked?
If your furnace is running but the house is still cold, your outflow vents and registers may be closed or blocked. This is especially common for heating ducts in the floor. Check to see if your vents are open and that no rugs or furniture are obstructing them. Vents are often located near external walls under windows. And even long curtains can obstruct airflow or re-direct it to undesired directions.
9. Is something blocking your fresh air?
Not all furnaces vent through chimneys. Many newer furnaces have their fresh air intakes and exhaust runs through the side of the home and deep snow, windblown leaves, insects, critters, and moisture can create exhaust problems.
10. Have you called an expert?
The best way to keep your furnace running is to have your heating system inspected by an expert before winter strikes. Annual planned maintenance from Spurk HVAC can save you time, frustration, and money. If you’ve tried everything and your furnace still isn’t working, call Spurk HVAC. We can do a deeper dive into specific issues with your furnace model — before you need an emergency furnace repair call for no heat in winter
About Spurk HVAC
Spurk HVAC was formed in 2018 and is located in Warrendale, Pennsylvania. We proudly serve Cranberry Twp., Wexford, Gibsonia, Mars, and the surrounding areas. We are an American Standard Customer Care Dealer and a Mitsubishi Diamond Contractor. We service all makes and models. Please contact us if you are seeking heating repair, heating system replacement, air conditioner repair, air conditioning maintenance, air conditioning replacement, or any other heating & cooling services. Whether you are looking for residential or commercial HVAC services, we look forward to any and all opportunities to become your preferred HVAC contractor.