The comfort of your home can depend on several things, but the most prominent one is the ongoing temperature in the rooms. The last thing you want in the dead of winter is a cold house to come home to, especially after coming home in the freezing cold! You just want to warm up. However, you do not want to warm up too much! It is even worse going home to baking heat because there is nothing you can do about it.
If either one has ever happened to you then I am sure that you understand just how much of a pain it can be. If you have a furnace heater then there can be any number of things that go wrong with it and you can bet that it will be the furnace if there is such a problem. One of the main things that tend to go wrong with it is the fan. If the fan will not run then you either have no heat or too much heat.
The fan is so important in the workings of the furnace that without it, you will struggle to keep a stable temperature in your home. If the fan itself is not working then it could be indicative of a number of things, which we will go into shortly, but before you touch the fan, it is crucial that you understand what it actually does.
The fan has two purposes in the furnace. Firstly, it is used to circulate the heat generated by the furnace throughout your home. If there were no fan then the heat would stay within the confined space that the furnace itself occupies. This is obviously when the furnace has kicked into life.
However, when the furnace has cut out for a period of time after it has reached maximum temperature, as dictated by you via the thermostat, the fan will actually continue for a short time to cool the mechanism down by circulating the cool air around the furnace around it. Without this, the furnace may overheat. In fact, the fan is one of the most crucial aspects of the furnace.
The most common and dangerous of the problems with the fan in any given furnace occurs when it will not run and there can be any number of reasons for this, including the following:
1. A blockage – Every now and again there may be a build up of material on the furnace fan. Before you even take a closer look at it, switch the furnace itself off at the mains to ensure that there is no power going through it. Slowly take the cover off and if you can see a blockage then remove it. Use a finely bristled brush to clean the fan and the surrounding casing before replacing the outer case and switching the furnace back on.
2. The thermostat – it may be that the thermostat will only work at a certain temperature so fiddle with the dial until you find a place that the fan will cut in at and buy a new thermostat!
3. Lack of power – Firstly, check to see whether or not you have switched the furnace or thermostat off. This is unlikely but could happen. If you have not then check whether the furnace is working. If it is then switch it off and check the connections. It may be that one has come loose. If no wiring is showing on a loose connection then place it back in the right hole, but if you cannot see the problem, call an engineer.
4. Loose wiring – This is a job for an electrician. You may or may not be able to see the loose wiring, but if in doubt always isolate the furnace and cut off the power before calling in someone that knows what he or she is doing!