Be Prepared for Winter with this Useful Furnace Troubleshooting Guide
'Tis the season for colder weather, and to properly prepare, you might be checking your heating systems to make sure they're operating as they should be. If you have a gas furnace there are a few things to remember when turning it on for the first time.
- First, check the pilot. You might have shut it off during the spring and summer months and now it needs to be relit.
- Second, crack a couple of windows. Most likely, the furnace has been off for several months. For this reason it's going to give off an odor. So ventilate your home the first couple of times you run your heating system. That way the fumes won't cause any problems for you and your family. Once the furnace is run a few times the odor will dissipate and not occur again.
- Third, test the thermostat to make sure the heater turns on/off as it should.
The following troubleshooting tips will help if there are any additional problems getting the furnace to operate properly.
Furnace isn't turning on:
If the furnace isn't turning on at all it's usually something quite simple. Below are a few things to try. If this doesn't solve your problem have your furnace inspected by a professional.
- Check your fuses and circuit breaker.
- Make sure the furnace switch is ON.
- Press the reset button.
- Relight the pilot.
- Make sure the gas valve is fully open.
Not enough heat production:
If you're running your furnace but it doesn't seem to produce enough warmth, check everything listed below and see if it helps.
- Check the thermostat to be sure it's not set too low.
- Clean or change the filter.
- Check the blower. If it needs cleaning, clean it.
- Make sure all of the registers are open.
- Check the blower belt and replace if broken or loose.
- If the burner is dirty, contact a professional and have it cleaned.
Pilot won't light or stay lit:
The pilot should stay lit; if it isn't the following checklist will help define the issue. Typically there is an easy solution.
- Make sure the thermocouple isn't loose. Tighten, if needed, or have it replaced.
- Adjust the pilot flame; it may not be strong enough.
- If you suspect the pilot is defective call a professional.
Turns on/off repeatedly:
If the furnace is turning on and off repeatedly and not taking a break it could be that the unit needs to be cleaned. This is usually a simple matter and not at all costly.
- Clean or replace the filter.
- Lubricate the motor and blower if it has oil ports.
Blower runs continuously:
If the blower won't stop running it could be a simple fix.The tips below will help you troubleshoot this issue easily.
- Check the thermostat and turn from the ON position to the Auto position.
- Set the limit switch to stop-start cycling.
- The limit control might need to be adjusted, if so contact a professional.
If your furnace is making excessive noise check the following to nip it in the bud. Solving this problem is often as easy as tightening a bolt or screw.
- Make sure the access panels are mounted and fastened properly.
- Spray squeaky drive belts with dressing or replace if necessary.
- Adjust the belt - it might be too loose or too tight.
- If there are oil ports, lubricate the motor and blower.
- The burner could be dirty so contact a professional to have it cleaned.
These helpful tips will ensure a well run furnace. Making certain your heating system is operating properly makes it easier to save money and enjoy a warm and cozy winter.