Problems with your furnace are not fun to deal with in the middle of a Colorado winter.
As we always espouse on the Best Buy Heating and Air blog, preventative maintenance is always the best way to stop problems before they arise.
But what about when something goes wrong unexpectedly?
You’re always welcome to contact us for help, but some furnace problems might be something you can troubleshoot on your own. In this post, we’ll look at how you can identify some of the more common furnace problems and potentially fix them yourself.
Let’s begin by discussing the very first place you should look when encountering a new HVAC problem:
Make Sure the Problem Isn’t With Your Thermostat
If your furnace stopped working because of a problem with your thermostat, that’s actually a pretty good turn of events—getting your thermostat working again might be as simple as replacing the unit’s batteries. Some thermostats are wired into the home’s electrical system. In either case, the first thing you should do is check to see if your thermostat has power at all. If not, that’s almost certainly going to be the cause of your problems.
If your thermostat does appear to have power, but your furnace still isn’t producing heat, double check to make sure that the thermostat isn’t currently running on a schedule or timer. Most modern thermostats allow you to schedule when the heat should be on or off, and it could be that the issue is being caused by an incorrectly programmed schedule (or you’re simply home at a time you usually aren’t).
After you rule out the thermostat, move on to the next possible fix:
Has Your Furnace’s Safety Switch Been Activated?
Nearly all modern furnaces have a safety switch located on the door or access panel. The purpose of this switch is to make sure that the furnace can’t turn on while the internal components are being examined or serviced. It’s a great safety feature, but sometimes if the door or panel hasn’t been replaced properly, the switch may not have returned to the proper position. Check your furnace door to make sure that it’s closed completely. If not, secure it, and you may find that your furnace kicks on again.
Check Your Home’s Circuit Breaker
When your furnace isn’t working, there’s a possibility that the problem lies with your circuit breaker. If a fuse is tripped or blown, you’ll have to test your breaker.
Find the circuit switch that controls the furnace at your breaker panel. If you discover that the switch is in the off position when you arrive, it could be that the circuit was tripped and you may be able to reset it yourself. Flip the switch back and forth to reset the breaker. Wait a moment to make sure that it stays switched to the on position—if so, check to see if your furnace is working.
What to Do When Your Furnace is Working But Not Producing Enough Warmth
Sometimes your furnace will be working, but you’ll find that it isn’t producing enough heat to stay comfortable. If the cold temperatures seem to be “spotty” throughout your home, you’ll want to read our post Prevent Hot and Cold Spots With These Easy DIY Air Balancing Techniques.
If you’re confident that air balancing isn’t the issue, then the problem most likely is being caused by a clogged, dirty filter. Check the condition of your air filter, which may be located at the intake (a grate in the ceiling or floor, usually). Some furnaces have built-in filters. When you discover the location of the filter, examine it closely.
Sometimes it’s pretty obvious that a filter needs to be changed, but if you’re not sure, there’s an easy test to know whether or not your filter should be replaced. Hold it up to a light: if you can’t see any light coming through it, you need to replace it. Turn your furnace off and install a new filter.
How to Get Help For Your Furnace Before Winter Sets In
Don’t wake up freezing in the middle of the night this winter! Preventative maintenance is the cure to this all-too-common problem. While some furnace problems can be tackled on your own, others require the help of a trained professional. We’d like to help.
Whether you’d like to schedule a furnace inspection in Windsor or need help with any other component of your HVAC system in the Northern Colorado area, our team of industry leading professionals at Best Buy Heating and Air would be more than happy to be of assistance. Local owner Mike Deshazo has been in the HVAC business for over four decades and leads his staff by setting an example of excellence and integrity.