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Common Furnace Problems

Before you start losing it and screaming at your furnace in the dead cold or the heat of the summer time, stop and take a deep breath. Your furnace might not be working because of a few simple issues that can be fixed quickly.

Sometimes the simplest thing is right before your eyes, and when you’re agitated you can miss them. Take a few moments and read about 3 common things that can go wrong, and more importantly what you can do to keep your furnace working.

Here are 3 tips to use before you call your service repairman.

Check your Setting. People have actually called a service technician and they’ve found out that the only problem was that their temperature setting on their thermostat control was not turned to the proper setting for heating or cooling their home. That’s not only embarrassing, but a very expensive call for something so simple. Be sure and check.

Check Breakers and Service Switch. If your service switch isn’t on, or any of the other switches aren’t on, the furnace won’t run. The service switch is located near or on the furnace. Look at the main breaker box in your house too. If it’s been tripped it won’t come on either. Sometimes all that is need is to replace the service switch if it has gone bad.

Outside Disconnect Switch. Go outside and look around the unit. You will find a switch that you can flip to turn the outside fan on. Again check your main breaker box inside the house to see if that control has been changed to the off position. Replace outside service switch if needed, as a service technician can easily replace it.

If all of these things are in working order then it will be time to call your local service company for a complete inspection of your furnace unit. Don’t attempt to try to diagnose any serious issues. Not only could you hurt yourself or others, you could void the warranty on your furnace. You’ll be completely responsible for the cost at that point. Be wise and call.

Before a major problem develops there are ways to lengthen the life of your furnace.

Filters- Regularly change your filters on your furnace.

It’s recommended by professional HVAC heating, venting and air conditioning service technicians to change them on monthly bases. If your furnace type can be fitted for a washable filter, then you’ll save some money by using them. You can save some money too by buying your standard filters in bulk.

Most hardware supply stores or home improvement stores will either have them in stock as bulk, or they can special order them for you too. When thinking about changing your filters don’t forget to include any time that there is a high volume of foot traffic. Holidays and times when doors will be fanned open such as in the summer time, might require you change the filter more. Pet dander will cause more clog for your furnace too.

Vacuum and Wipe Down

Another way to lengthen the life of your furnace is to clean it. Grab a shop vacuum that works well and clean the furnace. Make sure you vacuum is in good working order, the last thing you’ll need is it to be leaking more debris back into the furnace.

Replace Insulation

If your furnace has insulation around or inside the door be sure to examine it for brittleness or huge pieces of it missing. It can further clog up your furnace by being pulled into it when the fan kicks on. It won’t take long for it to burn up a motor.

Inspect Wiring

Go outside and look at the wiring that connects your outside cooling and heating fan to see if there are frayed wires or loosening wires from it to the house. Clean away debris from around the fan and if possible wash off the unit with a mild detergent. Pull out any leaves or garbage out of the grill of the fan, so it can run with maximum efficiency.

Clean Vents Inside and Out

Go and take the time to clean out your floor vents. Also look outside and check your duct work to make sure that it hasn’t fallen or become tangled. Naturally you run the unit harder because you are not staying cool or warm in the winter, if there is anything clogging or obstructing the air flow. This will shorten the life of your furnace.

Furnace Inspection

Make sure to schedule a yearly inspection on your furnace.