A critical component of your HVAC system is your furnace, and with harsh winters becoming more and more common, it’s important you have your furnace in working order before it gets too cold. The average homeowner won’t have the knowledge needed to diagnose and fix furnace issues and keep their home heated properly throughout the winter. We’ll go over some of the most common issues people have, and how an HVAC professional can help you get it working again.
Check Your Air Filter
The first thing you should check if your furnace is failing to provide heat is the air filter. This needs to be changed and/or checked regularly for your furnace to work properly. The air filter removes particulate, pollen and other harmful airborne materials from the air coming in and leaving the furnace itself. If you don’t clean or replace your filter – or even use a high quality enough filter – every 4-6 months, you might run into problems getting sufficient heat into your home.
Thermostat Power Issues
Often times, the issue may not even be with the furnace itself, and more with your separate thermostat. Some are battery powered and some are powered by your homes electrical panel. If its battery powered, an easy way to avoid problems is keeping the batteries fully charged. A furnace repair can be costly, but if you can just replace the thermostat batteries you can get away with avoiding those big bills. Often just getting an HVAC technician out to your home to take a look can cost upwards of $150. By keeping your thermostat batteries fresh and replacing them at the first sign of weakness, you can prevent this issue from occurring.
Circuit Breaker Problems
Another easy way to check if this is a power problem or not is to check your circuit breaker and make sure the breaker for the furnace is in the ‘on’ position. If you are getting power to your thermostat control, but no heat from your furnace it may be a power issue. Finding out if it’s a breaker problem will also save you the headache of paying a technician a fee to simply flip a switch. Further, you may not even know which break switch is responsible for power to the furnace, often they look very similar to any other switch and can get flipped easily. Prevent this problem by clearly labelling the switch so it isn’t accidentally switched off.
Pilot Light Failure
Older furnaces that are still going strong may have a classic pilot light. A small crevice you can look through and see should be able to let you know right away if it’s lit or not, and if it isn’t you can likely do it yourself with a barbecue lighter. If you are not comfortable doing this, or it doesn’t seem to resolve the issue, then definitely contact a certified and trusted HVAC technician to further diagnose and solve the problem.
Not everyone is familiar with how a furnace works and how to get it working again, but if you can at least understand how the basics work you can save yourself some pretty good money by making sure these basic issues are not stopping your home from being comfortably heated.