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Common Furnace Problems Faced by Home-Owners

Author: Hawn Bingham
by Hawn Bingham
Posted: Oct 31, 2018

As the chilly winter come forth so does a multitude of complaints regarding common furnace problems. Most of these problems are easy to fix although some require professional assistance. Before calling a specialist, home-owners can perform a furnace inspection and look for specific problems. Whether it is a conventional gas furnace or a high efficiency furnace, it is crucial to understand the basic working of the furnace before furnace installation or opting for furnace repair.

Clogged air filter

One of the biggest reason of furnace problems are clogged air filters. If a furnace turns on but doesn’t blow hot air for long duration, chances are that its air filters are clogged. Filters that are covered by dust and gunk reduces airflow to the furnace and in many cases can even shut it down. Troubleshooting in this case is quite simply a modest furnace cleaning to remove soot and dust from the heat exchanger. These services are performed easily by 24 hour furnace repair companies.

Problems with thermostat

This is another common furnace problem regarding furnaces of all build and sizes. If the thermostat has not been set correctly then the furnace does not work. In many cases, home-owners have been found to have set up a program in the last season and have forgotten to change the settings. Verification of the temperature setting and setting the thermostat to heat, rather than "air" or "off" is extremely crucial.

Circuit Breaker Tripped

Sometimes the circuit breakers of the furnace are tripped for some reason, which causes the furnace to turn off. This may sound like a no-brainer but furnaces usually have a switch that turns it on and off. Even without expert help, home-owners can turn this switch to make the furnace operational again. Most furnaces have 3 amp fuses on the circuit board, which looks just like a standard size fuse. If there is an indicator light and it's not on or flashing, this may be the problem and it is easy to fix.

Furnace Pressure Switch Problems

Sometimes a furnace might have an open pressure switch, which usually results in a flue/chimney blockage. Birds or other small animals have been known to nest up in flues. These cretins can be easily removed by taking down the chimney pipe from the top of the furnace to check if there's anything in there and a thorough furnace cleaning. The idea is to ensure that the fan hooked to the flue (the inducer fan) is operational. If not, a service tech can resolve this problem in a jiffy.

Ignition Problem

Now this is a job for a specialist. Intermittent pilot or hot surface ignition is used to start modern gas furnaces. They do not burn small amount of gas constantly just to keep the furnace ready to start and as a result, these are more efficient than a standing pilot light. A hot surface ignition system is commonly found in modern gas furnaces. When the thermostat signals the furnace to switch on, electricity runs through the igniter and heats it.

This technology comes with its own set of problems during ignition in modern gas furnaces. Most often, safety switches break, computer boards might fail, or other parts of the furnace might malfunction, which can keep the ignition system from working. If the furnace is not turning on and the thermostat is set, then the ignition system might have a malfunction. An older furnace with a standing pilot light is not as efficient as a modern furnace and it might be a good call to opt for a furnace replacement. If the igniter is not operational, the gas valve won't stay open until the igniter has been replaced. If the furnace lights the burners and then shuts off just a few seconds later, this is almost surely a fault of the flame sensor.

Old thermostats that determine the temperature with mercury bulbs should be replaced as they are not as accurate as newer digital models.

Adjustment or Cleaning of Burner

After a furnace is turned on, a burner heats air that is then blown through air ducts and delivered across the house. Even though the ignition system might function properly, burners can malfunction. This could also result in no heat, while severely affecting efficiency resulting in really high bills. A furnace repair technician would look inside the furnace to figure out if the burner is dirty or needs adjustment. Taking the help of a professional is crucial as clueless toying around might accidentally cause a gas leak or carbon monoxide. A thorough furnace inspection is vital to stop any such incidents from happening.

Belt and Blower Problems

One of the most common furnace problems are blower problems and belt problems. When this happens, the furnace makes a high pitched sound. A qualified repair technician should be brought in to inspect and diagnose the system. Sometimes these problems can be fixed with a simple lubrication job. In some cases, the belt could also be worn out. Both of these situations can be avoided with annual furnace inspection.

About the Author

As the chilly winter come forth so does a multitude of complaints regarding common furnace problems. Most of these problems are easy to fix although some require professional assistance.

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Author: Hawn Bingham

Hawn Bingham

Member since: Oct 27, 2018
Published articles: 1

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