Furnace Troubleshooting: A How-To Guide for Common Furnace Problems

Furnace Troubleshooting: A How-To Guide for Common Furnace Problems

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Who has time for furnace repairs? Here at Service Champions, we aim to eliminate the hassle and stress associated with furnace maintenance. While we recommend always calling in a professional, there are a few times when it’s ok to try it yourself. Here are the times when it’s ok to try some furnace troubleshooting.

The Blower is Always Running

There are several reasons why your blower fan is running non-stop. The first likely cause is that your thermostat is on the incorrect setting.

If your thermostat is placed in the ‘on’ setting rather than ‘auto,’ your fan will run constantly. Switch your thermostat to ‘auto,’ which will ensure that the fan only turns on to circulate heated air and maintain your pre-programmed temperature of choice.

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Next, you may have a faulty fan limit switch. Your furnace’s fan limit switch is a component that determines when the fan blower turns on and off.

The fan limit switch can be tested using a multimeter. Your fan limit switch may need to be reset. However, it could need replacing as well.

There’s Not Enough Heat

When looking further into the cause for low heat production, do a walk-through of your home. Be sure to check that all of your vents are open. If your vents are closed, the heated air produced by your furnace will not be able to circulate throughout your home.

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Another super simple fix is making sure that your thermostat is set to ‘heat.’ Ensure that your thermostat is on, with fresh batteries, and is programmed to a temperature at least five degrees higher than room temperature.

If your furnace isn’t producing enough heat, your furnace filters could be the culprit. Furnace filters saturated in dirt and debris will decrease the effectiveness of your furnace. For this reason, we highly recommend regularly cleaning your filters.

Lastly, is your furnace being powered? You can make sure by taking a look at your furnace’s power switch. If this has been flipped accidentally, switch it back to the ‘on’ position. Next, make certain that your furnace is receiving power from your home’s main circuit breaker.

Short Cycling Can Cause Issues

If your furnace continues to switch on and off prior to reaching the desired room temperature, it’s time to investigate further.

First, check your air filters. As mentioned above, your air filters can lead to decreased heat production. Additionally, saturated air filters may cause your furnace to short cycle.

If you determine that your air filters are clean, but you haven’t taken a look at your vents, it’s time to do so. Each of your supply and return vents should be opened for optimal heat distribution and overall furnace function.

Furnace Keeps Turning Off

It’s never a good thing when your furnace keeps going on and off at seemingly random times. When this happens, we can usually attribute it to a dirty air filter. To test this, turn all power to your furnace off, locate your filter, remove the filter, and clean or completely replace it as necessary.

If dirty furnace filters aren’t responsible for the malfunction, take a look at your furnace’s flame sensor. A dirty flame sensor can be the source of many furnace problems.

This thin, metallic rod sits in front of the flame stream within your furnace. When your furnace’s gas valve is open, the flame sensor verifies that a flame is present.

If your flame sensor is dirty or faulty, it will not signal your furnace. Attempt to clean your flame sensor. If issues persist, call professionals for assistance.

Lastly, double-checking your thermostat is a must. Confirm that your thermostat is on, placed on “heat” and “auto,” and has fresh batteries. If you have confirmed all the above and continue to experience issues, your thermostat could call for replacing.

Thermostat Not Working

If you believe that your thermostat may be faulty, there are several little things you can do before hiring an HVAC professional.

As you read previously, it is quite possible that power to your furnace has been turned off. You will want to verify that the furnace switch is on. It’s easy to accidentally flip the switch when you’re cleaning or working around the unit.

Next, we recommend putting fresh batteries into your thermostat at the beginning of every high-usage season, such as winter. While some batteries could last five years, others may only last three months. To play it safe, replace your thermostat batteries each year.

Finally, remember to keep your thermostat set to ‘heat.’

Sometimes Furnace Troubleshooting Can’t Help

If troubleshooting your furnace isn’t solving your problems, your friendly neighborhood professionals at Service Champions are always here to help! If furnace repairs are becoming a bother, give us a call today!

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