Maintaining your furnace is important to keep it functioning properly, but if it stops working for seemingly no reason, there are a few things that can be done before throwing in the towel and calling a professional. The most common furnace problems your furnace might give you are poor airflow, a faulty ignition, or simply not producing heat. Here are some common problems your furnace might face and how to solve them:
Poor airflow is usually caused by lack of maintenance. Your furnace should be tended to every year. Skipping this can lead to more serious problems, such as breakdowns. To increase airflow, you should change the filter. Dirty filters will block air and force the furnace to work harder, which can lead to more serious malfunctions and breakdowns. It’s recommended that filters be changed once a month to ensure your furnace is effective.
When your heat isn’t working, the first thing you should do is check that your thermostat is working properly. Some thermostats function on your home’s electricity, but many are battery operated. If the batteries don’t need to be changed, you should then make sure the thermostat is set to the heat function.
From there, if your furnace still isn’t working, make sure it’s still receiving electricity. Check the furnace’s power supply and ensure that it’s still plugged in and that a fuse wasn’t blown. If your furnace has a digital screen, make sure it’s still functioning. If all of that checks out, you should find the furnace’s gas valve and make sure it wasn’t accidentally turned off.
Older furnaces have a pilot light, which can be put out by a draft or breeze. If you try to relight it and fail, turn off the gas and the power switch or circuit breaker providing your furnace with electricity. Then use a thin wire, such as a hanger, to unclog the pilot’s orifice by poking the opening where the flame normally burns to remove any debris. If this doesn’t work, try adjusting the flame so that it grows to a 1.5 to 2-inch flame.
If your furnace has an electronic ignition that is malfunctioning, turn the power switch off, then back on to reset the ignition. To ensure this has worked, you can listen for the sound of a spark.
Any squeaking or rumbling may be the sign of an unhealthy furnace and likely indicates a problem. You may have a clogged burner or a mechanical problem. It’s best to call a professional, as self-repairs can void manufacturer warranties.
Occasionally, there’s nothing that can be done and it’s time to replace your furnace. When this happens, be sure to contact an installation expert. If you live in the Fort Collins area, call a professional at American Air Heating & Air Conditioning at 970-484-0400 or visit americanairheatingco.com.