Troubleshooting 2 Furnace Problems

For many homeowners, furnace performance isn't usually a priority, until it stops working. Having your furnace give up in the middle of the cold season can be a big problem. Lack of maintenance is often the main reason why your furnace could be providing insufficient heating or failing to provide any heat at all. A neglected furnace could also lead to escalating energy bills and necessitate costly repairs. This article looks at common problems you could encounter with your heating unit this winter and how you can fix them. 

Furnace isn't heating at all

The most common cause of this problem is a thermostat that isn't set correctly. Be sure it is switched to 'heat' and set at a temperature that is higher than the current room temperature. You may need to override the settings if you have a programmable thermostat so as to confirm this isn't the cause of the issue. Another possible cause of the problem could be a tripped or blown circuit breaker. Turn the breaker switch on at the main electrical panel or have a heating contractor repair it if defective. 

If both the above fixes don't turn your furnace back on, you might be looking at a more serious problem. The most likely culprit is a faulty pilot light that fails to ignite the furnace. Possible causes of pilot light failure include a clogged gas tube or defective thermocouple, both of which may need to be diagnosed and repaired by a heating professional.

Finally, your furnace could be failing to work if the natural gas or propane flow is cut off. This often happens when the gas pressure regulator malfunctions or is obstructed by debris. If you suspect this is the cause of the problem, have a professional come in and make the necessary repairs. A company like Thompson Heating & Air Conditioning Inc may be able to meet your needs in this area.

Furnace is providing insufficient heating

The most likely cause of this issue is an obstructed air filter. Air filters in your ducts may get clogged with pet hair and dust, resulting in restricted air flow over the heat exchanger. This can cause a low output of heated air on your supply registers and even cause furnace failure. Be sure to replace dirty filters so as to improve air flow and keep your heated air clean. 

Air duct issues are also a likely cause of this problem. Leaky ducts and poor insulation can result in the loss of heated air, causing the furnace to work extra hard to reach the set thermostat temperature. Furthermore, poorly balanced ducts can lead to some rooms getting little or no heated air.

Your heating contractor can add more ducts to certain rooms to ensure even air flow around the home and seal cracks /holes in your ductwork to improve your heating.