Guide to Troubleshooting your Furnace Problem

Written by United on . Posted in HVAC, Residential HVAC

Next time your furnace acts up, there are a few easy things you can check beforehand to save you from a service call. Furnace repair isn’t always this simple, but you’ll breathe a sigh of relief if it’s something minor you can handle yourself. Anything beyond these furnace repair troubleshooting tips should be performed by a professional HVAC technician, not only for your safety, but also to avoid further damaging your furnace.

Check your furnace thermostat.

  • Are there any unusual messages on your display? Refer to your owner’s manual for addressing the message displayed. If you’ve lost your owner’s manual you can probably download one for free online. Just do an online search for your thermostat manufacturer and owner’s manual.
  • Is the room temperature above what the thermostat is set to? If so, the furnace won’t kick on until the room temp falls below that temperature.
  • Does it run on battery power? If so, change the batteries. Thermostat batteries should be changed once a year. Make sure there is power at the furnace. If air is blowing out of your registers then the furnace has power. If not, there are other ways to check for power or restore power.
  • Check the furnace switch. Most furnaces have power switches that are red or look like light switches on the side. Sometimes these switches are irresistible to kids and they flip them off. If your switch is off, it’s an easy fix. Simply turn it back on.
  • The breaker might be tripped. This can happen if the power goes out for a second, especially if the unit was just kicking on. Your furnace is has a dedicated circuit so you have to check the box because nothing else in your home will be without power.
  • Another way to check for power is to look through the sight glass for anything lit on the control panel. The sight glass is a small round hole you can peek through on your furnace. If you see a light, the furnace has power.
  • Check that your furnace filter is clean. Sometimes air filters get so dirty that air cannot flow through them and shuts down the furnace. If the filter is filthy, change it.
  • Look for signs of water on your floor. If you find wetness, call your furnace repair technician because it could mean any number of things like a blocked drain hose, etc.
  • Nothing working and you need heat immediately? Try turning the power switch on the side of the furnace (the light switch looking thing) off and then on again. If there isn’t a furnace switch, you can turn the circuit off then on at the breaker box. The furnace will try to restart itself three to five times. This is only a temporary fix. If you can hold out for your furnace repair technician, it’s best not to do this because it clears the fault or error code from the control board. The fault code helps your HVAC tech diagnose the issue. However, if turning the furnace power off then on doesn’t work, the error code will still be there.

Should these furnace repair troubleshooting tips fail, contact United Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We’ll dispatched a technician right away.

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