When your furnace stops working, it could be the thermostat or something as simple as a dirty air filter or an ignition issue. Troubleshooting home heating before calling in a pro will give you a head start on diagnosing the issue and may get the furnace back on track quickly. When experiencing heating issues, check these three areas before you do anything else.
Area 1: Your Thermostat
The thermostat controls the system and if it's not working, the heat won't come on. Turn it up and you should hear some kind of sound at the thermostat or the furnace shortly afterward. If the thermostat uses batteries, test their charge or replace them. When neither of these solves the problem, make sure that the furnace door is closed tightly. Check to see if the one for the burner is closed too.
A tripped circuit breaker or fuse will also keep the system from running, and sometimes a malfunction can trigger either of these. Try resetting the circuit breaker or replacing a fuse. If this solves the problem, but the breaker continues to trip or the fuse to blow, ask an HVAC contractor to inspect the heating system.
Area 2: Dirty Air Filters
Furnaces have a safety switch inside them that shuts it off when the burner or heat exchanger get too hot, which is often caused by an overly dirty air filter. Replacing it may be all you need to do for troubleshooting home heating. Checking it monthly and changing it when dirty will lower energy consumption and lengthen the life of your system.
Area 3: Ignition Problems
Sometimes problems crop up with either electronic ignitors or pilot lights. Turn off the gas valve inside the furnace and wait five minutes. When you turn it back on, the ignitor should start the furnace. If not, it may need to be replaced. These are electronic devices that wear out over time.
If yours has a standing pilot, turn the gas off and check it and the nearby thermocouple for soot or dirt. Clean and follow the manufacturer's instructions for relighting.
If you'd like more information about troubleshooting home heating, contact Avery Heating & Air Conditioning. We proudly serve homeowners in Boone, Marion and Blowing Rock areas since 1971.
Image via Shutterstock.com