Forced-air furnaces are workhorse heating systems that can provide years of reliable service when they’re well maintained. However, all furnaces are bound to go on the fritz sooner or later. Many problems may be resolved without calling your HVAC technician. Try the following furnace troubleshooting tips out to see if you can get your heat back on.
Won’t Turn On
If your furnace isn’t turning on, make sure the thermostat is set correctly. It should be set to “heat” and “auto” as opposed to “on,” which makes the blower run continuously. Make sure the temperature heat setting is above the room temperature reading. If you have a simple digital thermostat or an old mechanical model, upgrade to a programmable thermostat.
Blowing Cold Air
You certainly don’t want cool air blowing from your air vents on a cold winter day or night. That may be what happens if you have a faulty electronic ignition system or pilot light. Problems of this sort usually indicate that the sensor for electronic ignition needs cleaning. If your pilot light won’t stay lit, it could be clogged or you may have a bad thermocouple. Call your HVAC technician for these situations.
Making Strange Noises
Grinding noises from your furnace are a very bad sign of a failing blower motor. Turn off your furnace immediately and call your HVAC tech. If you hear rattling or clamoring noises from the air vents, you may simply have loose or disconnected ducts. Not only are noisy ducts a nuisance, they waste energy! Wrap duct seams with heat-resistant metal tape.
Frequent cycling is when your furnace turns on and off repeatedly over a short time. This can be caused by a clogged air filter that’s restricting airflow across the blower. The furnace overheats and shuts down. Be sure to check your filter each month this winter, or you may find yourself dealing with a grinding noise coming from your blower motor.
If your furnace problem is beyond these furnace troubleshooting tips, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We’ve served residents of Northern Michigan for more than 30 years!
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace troubleshooting and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.
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