Home Tech Furnace Troubleshooting: Seven Common Problems and Simple Solutions In Detail

Furnace Troubleshooting: Seven Common Problems and Simple Solutions In Detail

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furnace troubleshooting

It is essential to have a furnace in the winter to stay warm and to survive the cold. Without it, we’d continue to huddle around the fire pits to keep warm. The furnaces require regular tune-ups from professionals and homeowner maintenance to ensure they run effectively. Furnaces can fail and create issues that hinder normal functioning with proper care. If your furnace has started having problems or is not turning on, read the troubleshooting steps for your furnace first before calling the experts.

Seven common problems and simple solutions of furnace troubleshooting

1. Check furnace filter

Dust and dirt could quickly block filters, which hinders airflow, affecting indoor air quality and even stopping the furnace from working in certain instances. It could also be an ignition hazard and cause premature breakdowns because of the excess particles and dust.

  • Switch off your thermostat and turn the furnace switch off before working to the furnace.
  • Check your air filter once every 30 days (set reminders on the calendar).
  • Bring your filter to a light source.
  • Secure your access panels.

2. Verify the temperature

After confirming that your furnace’s filter is clean and properly installed, you can examine the thermostat.

  • Check that it’s set to “heat,” and then try setting the temperature at five degrees more than the room’s temperature.
  • If the thermostat requires new batteries, make sure you replace them.
  • For electromechanical thermostats are electronic, you might need to unblock them to give them light dusting. Use a soft or similar paintbrush to gently scrub off dust and dirt on the metal contacts and coils. A smaller brush will be a better choice if yours is too big.
  • If the thermostat is getting an incorrect input, it will be sending out an incorrect output.

3. Make sure you have a furnace switch checked as well as the electrical panel

Sometimes the thermostat and filter are in good working order. Make sure you check the switch for the furnace next to the stove. Someone could have accidentally switched off the button. Try turning it again. If this doesn’t work, look for an electrical switch.

Your panel box would have a specific circuit breaker for your furnace. Due to the high power loads, which range from 60 to 80 amps, a furnace typically requires a double-pole breaker. Therefore, if your panel has a double-pole breaker and you have a stove, that is probably the problem.

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  • Check that the power is on in the breaker or fuse box.
  • If the breaker box in your home is labeled correctly, you can make sure that the HVAC switch is turned switched on. This is the one you need to turn back on along with the rest.
  • If you want to reset, the breaker turns the switch completely off and then turns it on. 
  • Search for a discolored or melted fuse to restore power to a box. The best method of finding replacements for the fuse is to visit the store, purchase a new fuse, and then replace it with a similar one.
  • Switch on your furnace and check if it has brought power back for your furnace. Contact an expert if management is not off or the circuit keeps tripping.

4. Check furnace flame

Your furnace’s flame should have healthy and blue, with maybe a tiny yellowish edge. The blue love is a sign that your furnace burns fuel efficiently and safely. In the case of a red, purple, green, or any other color other than blue, contact a professional right away. Do not attempt to change your furnace’s flame color by yourself.

4. Check furnace flame

5. Gas valve

If you check the flame on the furnace and see that it’s gone, it is necessary to light it again. If you decide to light the pilot yourself, be cautious and refer to the owner’s manual for the proper guidelines. Make sure to shut off your gas approximately 15 minutes before trying to light the pilot. If you still smell any gas, don’t go on. Your gas may be malfunctioning, in which case you must get the house cleaned out immediately and immediately call your gas provider and the fire department from an appropriate distance.

6. Correctly secure front panel

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for properly securing your access panel. Many furnaces won’t work when the access panel isn’t fully pressed.

7. Check that all registers and vents are unlocked and accessible.

The furnace may be operating at times, but your rooms don’t get the right amount of temperature or airflow. Examine your entire home for all return and supply grills. They must all be open and free of obstructions.

Be sure to remove furniture, carpets, or anything else blocking the airflow. The blocked vents and registers impact your comfort, but they could result in leaks in the ducts due to excess air pressure and repair and breakdown of HVAC systems that are not completed in time. The idea of closing off registers and vents in rooms that aren’t used is not ideal. You’ll not save any cost and could cause more issues to your furnace.

Furnace Troubleshooting Recap:

  1. Replace or clean the air filter.
  2. Troubleshoot problems with thermostats and replace the batteries, if needed.
  3. Set the thermostat to warm and at more than the current room.
  4. Examine the electrical panel for a blown a fuse or tripped breakers.
  5. The power switch in front of them where the furnace is turned off.
  6. All vents and registers should be open.
  7. Ensure you mount and secure access panels properly (as a security measure in some furnaces, they won’t start when access panels aren’t correctly installed).
  8. Contact a qualified HVAC professional.

How do you test a furnace?

Testing a furnace is an important part of regular maintenance to ensure it works properly and efficiently. Here are the steps to test a furnace:

  • First, turn off the power supply to the furnace. This can be done by turning off the circuit breaker or unplugging the furnace.
  • Locate the thermostat and set it to the lowest temperature setting.
  • Locate the furnace switch and turn it on.
  • Observe the furnace for any operation signs, such as the blower turning on, the ignition system sparking, or the burners igniting.
  • Check for proper furnace operation, including proper airflow, appropriate heat output, and the absence of strange noises or odors.
  • After the furnace has been running for several minutes, go back to the thermostat and raise the temperature setting. The furnace should respond by increasing its output.
  • Repeat steps 5 and 6 a few times to ensure the furnace is functioning properly.
  • Finally, turn off the furnace and restore power to the unit.

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