Common Winter Furnace Problems And How To Troubleshoot

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Every homeowner needs to know how to perform simple furnace troubleshooting. This knowledge is useful during the colder months when your furnace may show signs of an imminent issue. Although furnaces can last for several years, they do not endure forever. Eventually, like all machinery, a furnace will have problems that affect the way it works. Admittedly, it is not always possible for a homeowner to understand every problem. However, it is relatively easy to detect when your furnace is working less than ideally.

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Furnace Troubleshooting Tips Every Homeowner Needs To Know

This article discusses a few typical furnace troubleshooting tips for the average homeowner.

Failure To Schedule Furnace Maintenance

A furnace works hard during the cold months of the year. Typically, this is the time of year when we depend on our heating systems the most and, unfortunately, when furnaces tend to break down.

To avoid unnecessary furnace malfunctions, it is important to schedule an annual furnace tune-up. A regular maintenance schedule ensures that a furnace is less likely to need repairs or a replacement during the cold season.

Homeowners can also help their heating system’s performance. A homeowner can troubleshoot a gas furnace, and schedule a yearly furnace tune-up from an HVAC service technician for optimal results. Homeowners should call a certified HVAC company as soon as they notice that their furnace stops working correctly. You should not procrastinate until the furnace is beyond repairs. Waiting too long may result in costly and unnecessary repairs or replacements.

HVAC Tip: Get an annual furnace inspection and tune-up.

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Dirty Furnace Filter

An annual furnace inspection for a gas furnace should include inspecting the filter. A furnace air filter controls the air circulating through a home. An efficient air filter ensures that the air is clean and that the system is operating efficiently. Failure to change the filter periodically may cause it to become dusty and dirty, which may result in the furnace working less efficiently and higher home heating costs.

HVAC Tip: A homeowner should check the air filter each month. Take out the dirty air filter and replace it with the same size filter when it is dirty.


Issues With The Pilot Light

An electrical issue within the furnace will cause problems. The home will not get warm unless the pilot is working. Do not attempt to light an electronic igniter manually. Always use the owner’s manual to ensure complete safety when lighting a pilot light, and do not light the igniter if the furnace does not have any power.

HVAC Tip: Inspect the circuit breaker. A tripped circuit breaker is easily fixed. It is also helpful to notice any drafts or clogged areas. Contact a licensed HVAC service technician if the furnace’s pilot light will not work.

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Thermostat That Does Not Work

The furnace will not operate if the thermostat is malfunctioning. This is not usually expensive unless the thermostat itself needs a replacement. The thermostat may need new batteries if it does not register the current temperature.

HVAC Tip: A homeowner can turn the furnace switch to the on and off positions to reset the thermostat. Another method is to shut off the power to the furnace. Replacing batteries regularly is one way to maintain the thermostat. If all else fails, contact an HVAC service provider for an inspection.

image of a malfunctioning thermostat

Furnace Blows Cold Air

Several things can cause a furnace to blow cold air. An incorrect temperature setting, lack of power, clogged air filter, or fa aulty pilot light can cause these issues. Another possible cause is when the furnace is too small for the amount of space that requires warmth.

HVAC Tip: An HVAC technician can inspect the furnace to determine if the furnace is the right size for the house. An upgrade is required if the furnace is not large enough. So, replacing the air filter, checking the pilot light, and checking the power are things a homeowner can do to troubleshoot an issue like this. Additionally, it is helpful to check the setting on the thermostat.

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Furnace Is Short Cycling

A short cycling or frequent cycling furnace causes the furnace to turn on and off too often. It is easily observed because of the frequent switching that occurs. Short cycling is caused by several factors, including clogged air filter, insufficient sizing, wrong temperature readings or overheating.

HVAC Tip: Make sure the thermostat is functioning. A thermostat exposed to the sun or another type of heat source may display an incorrect temperature reading. Contact an HVAC inspector to determine whether a furnace is too small for the house. Call an HVAC company immediately if the furnace’s heat exchanger is not working.

image of a gas furnace flame

Furnace Blower Continuously Runs

A furnace’s blower is not supposed to run constantly; constant running means that the furnace may have a faulty limit switch. Some furnaces have fan limit switches that turn off manually. A homeowner can check to see if the limit switch is in the right position.

HVAC Tip: It is a good idea to use the automatic setting for a limit switch because this will prevent the fan from running all the time. A licensed HVAC should inspect the furnace if the limit switch is damaged.

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Furnace Emits Abnormal Odors Or Noises

A furnace emitting unusual sounds may indicate a serious problem. Pay attention to clicking or clanging noises. Strange odors may indicate a possibly dangerous situation requiring immediate professional attention.

HVAC Tip: A homeowner can check the airflow and HVAC air filters. Clogged burners require the attention of an HVAC contractor.

image of woman covering nose from bad furnace odor

Call Wilcox Energy For Trusted Furnace Services

A homeowner can perform easy troubleshooting steps on their furnace be following the steps above. In certain situations, common problems are easy to maintain without the help of a licensed furnace repair person. This includes furnace filter replacements and a tripped circuit breaker. They should also schedule an annual tune-up for increased efficiency and home comfort. Homeowners should learn how to maintain their furnaces correctly to ensure optimal performance.

Wilcox Energy provides outstanding heating and cooling services throughout the southern Connecticut shoreline. We have skilled and certified HVAC technicians on our team who deliver professional HVAC repairs, tune-ups, and replacements.

Do you need to repair or replace your furnace? Your furnace will receive professional and knowledgeable care with Wilcox Energy. We guarantee to provide you with the best furnace repairs and installation prices in the area. If you need to replace your furnace with a more efficient unit, we will suggest models suitable for heating your home while remaining true to your budget.

We pride ourselves in ensuring that your furnace will work efficiently while providing your home with a warm and cozy atmosphere, excellent air quality, and all other positive attributes. Contact Wilcox Energy today to schedule a free inspection performed by one of our licensed HVAC professionals.

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For more information about our HVAC services, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy. You can click here to contact us, or you can call us at (860) 399-6218 to find out more. We offer a full line of heating and cooling repairs, maintenance services, and installations.