Furnace Troubleshooting and Quick Fixes to Common Problems

Is your furnace not performing as it once did? It might not need replacement. Instead, it may be a common problem you can fix quickly with these troubleshooting tasks.

Adjust your thermostat

This sounds obvious, but some of our most common problems can be solved with a simple check. Look at the settings on your thermostat – are they set correctly? The switch can easily be moved if you bump it or dust it. Ensure it’s set to heat and is adjusted to your desired temperature. 

Try another filter

When was the last time you changed out your furnace filter? This is something you should replace often. Most manufacturers will recommend seasonally, or more often for busy households. Err on the side of replacing it more. Don’t skimp, and use the least expensive ones you can find. Develop a routine and ensure you use high-quality every time. 

Check the batteries

Some thermostats are wired to the home’s electrical system, while others require batteries to stay operational. How is yours powered? Some thermostats will showcase a low-battery symbol when they need a fresh set. If you aren’t sure, you can do a little research online to determine what type of thermostat you have, and how to replace the batteries. 

HVAC contractor wearing a mask and safety glasses repairing a motor on a heat pump

Does your furnace have electricity?

Troubleshooting your furnace means checking all the pieces. Is there an electrical problem? To check this, find the switch for the fan on your thermostat. It has an “on” and “auto” setting. Move the switch to “on” and determine if the furnace is receiving electricity and starts to operate. If not, it’s time to call in a technician. 

Check the circuit breaker

Furnaces have their own dedicated power line. When you head to your circuit breaker, determine if it’s in a different position than the other switches, indicating that it tripped the breaker. You can turn it back on and see if it impacts the furnace’s functionality. If it does it multiple times, you have a bigger problem. 

Pilot light

If you have a furnace from 20 years or more, it may still function with a pilot light. Find the owner’s manual for your furnace and determine how to relight it. If you’re nervous about dealing with fire around a gas appliance, now may be a good time to call in a technician and have them thoroughly inspect the system. 

Check the gas

If you still haven’t discovered a fix, do one final check to ensure the furnace’s gas valve hasn’t accidentally been turned to the “off” position. Every natural gas furnace has a valve located within six feet of the furnace. While it’s usually in an out-of-the-way place, and isn’t bumped much, it’s still worth a quick look. 

Not sure? Time to call in the professionals

With just a few furnace troubleshooting measures, you should be able to fix your heating issue, or determine whether it needs further inspection. 

If that’s the case, it’s time to give us a call. 

How can we help you with all of your heating needs? 

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