It happens every year. We have unprecedented hot weather. Temperatures hover in the 90s for weeks. Then suddenly, a cold snap hits that has everyone scrambling for their winter clothes and warm air. You turn on the furnace … and nothing happens.
When the first sign of fall hits the Rockies, hundreds of phone calls come into our office because of problems with their heating system. With just a little planning foresight, you can learn the most common furnace problems and take proactive measures to prevent them. This ensures warm air is there when you want and need it most.
Common furnace problems include:
Dirty air filters – by far, this plays the most havoc on having your furnace be there when you want it. Dirty air filters reduce air flow, making a furnace work harder to circulate the air supply. This can damage other internal parts within the furnace.
Electric ignition or pilot light problems – depending on how old your furnace is determines whether it uses a pilot light or electric ignition. If the ignition isn’t working right, it no longer has a way to start the furnace and allow warm air to move throughout your home.
Faulty thermostat – the problem might not be with your furnace, but with your thermostat instead. The thermostat talks to your furnace and controls when the furnace turns on and off to provide warm air. If it isn’t working, the communication signal no longer exists. It may be time for new batteries, or a new thermostat instead.
No heat at all – if your furnace won’t turn on, check the thermostat. It’s most often a problem with the furnace and thermostat not speaking to one another.
Not enough warm air – if the air filter is clogged, the furnace may not be producing enough warmed air supply. It could also be a case of a furnace that isn’t sized correctly to properly heat your home.
Frequent cycling – If it seems like your furnace is turning on and off in short increments, it may be a clogged air filter, a faulty thermostat, or an incorrectly sized furnace that pushes out too much air flow in a short time.
A continuously running blower – blower issues often start with the limit switch, which may need replacing by a professional.
An increase in furnace noise – any time you hear rumbling, squeaking, or rattling coming from your furnace, it’s a sign of a problem. Schedule a maintenance visit as soon as possible to stop potential wear problems before they escalate in size.
A furnace should be properly maintained, which includes a service visit at the start of each season. If you haven’t scheduled yours yet, do it now to get in before the temperatures drop, and the snow begins to fly.