When you find that it’s become a real challenge to keep your home warm, many times it’s a problem with your furnace. But before you call Richmond’s premier heating and air company to come out and take a look at your heating system, you may want to try some of these common troubleshooting ideas first. If you’re still not getting satisfaction or you discover that you’re dealing with an issue that you are unable to solve on your own, then it’s time to call in a pro.
So here are some of the more common issues that homeowners face with furnace issues and ideas on how to solve them before they become major problems.
Gas and propane heating systems will often use a pilot light or an electronic ignition to start up. So when your furnace is having trouble working properly (or at all), you may want to check these components out first. Sometimes all you need to do is basically reboot the unit and you can do that by shutting down the gas valve for about three to five minutes.
After that time, turn it on again and the ignition should start the furnace right up. But if that doesn’t occur, the problem might be a bad ignition and you will need to have that replaced.
Furnace Door/Burner Door
There are two important doors located within your heating system. The first is the door on your furnace, if that’s not shut tight and you find it even slightly open, you must shut it. Check the door on your burner after that. Again, if it’s partially ajar then your system won’t work. These are important to remember the next time you think your furnace is malfunctioning.
As you know, the thermostat is the nerve center of your heating system and if you continue to have a problem even after you’ve diagnosed the problems elsewhere that we’ve mentioned so far, you may want to check here next. Listen out for that discernible audio indication when you engage the heater and if you’re not hearing it, that means your thermostat is not doing its job.
The way to fix it is to start by checking your batteries. After all, can you even remember the last time you put a fresh pair into your thermostat unit? Likely not, so swap them out with a new pair and see if that doesn’t solve the problem. If the batteries weren’t the problem you may have tripped a fuse or circuit breaker so check the box and see if everything is okay there.
Replacing the Air Filter
This is a critical step to remember even when your furnace is working properly. Fail to do so and it could result in damage to the system itself. Most furnaces have a fail-safe trigger in which they automatically shut off if the burner or the heat exchanger become too hot.
That can happen with a dirty air filter. When the filter has gone unchanged for a lengthy period of time, it can hinder air from getting through the system and that can force your heating unit to work overtime, causing it to burn out. Your energy bills will start to increase as well since your system will be forced to operate longer than usual.
When it’s Time to Call the Pros
Some furnace and heating system malfunctions can’t be effectively diagnosed and addressed on your own and it’s time to call in the expert. The following are some of the most common signs that you need some assistance.
All furnaces are pretty loud when they’re running but if yours is being even louder than usual, there could be something wrong. You may have a belt that is operating improperly or if you hear high-pitched squealing sounds that may be a warning that your ignition is about to fail.
Rapid Cycling Issues
If you notice that your furnace is shutting itself on and off rapidly in succession, you may be dealing with a rapid cycling issue. The main culprits here could be with the thermostat, the wiring of the unit, or yep you guessed it, another ignition problem. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to discover which one it is unless you know what to look for.
Rising Utility Bills
If you notice a steady increase in your energy costs but it’s not due to a raise in your monthly rate, then you may be wondering why you’re paying more every month. The answer may be your furnace and you didn’t even realize it. This might be something that is happening alongside or due to another problem with the furnace that you need to address asap.