Don't Sweat It - An Easy Guide to Troubleshooting Furnace Issues at Home

November 1, 2023


Winter can be harsh, especially when the furnace decides not to work. However, many furnace issues can be fixed quickly, even by the not-so-handy homeowner. This guide will discuss some common furnace issues and how to troubleshoot them. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with completing any of the mentioned steps, it's better to call a professional furnace repair in Anchorage.

The Furnace Won't Start:

The first and most common issue is a furnace failing to start. Start by checking the thermostat to see if it's on. If yes, then check if the furnace breaker is on. Sometimes, the breaker can trip due to an electrical surge. If the breaker is turned on, but the furnace still won't start, check the filter. A clogged filter can cause the furnace to overheat, causing it to shut down to avoid permanent damage. If the filter is clogged, replace it and try starting the furnace again. If all else fails, call a licensed technician.

The Furnace Blows Cool Air:

If the furnace is blowing cold air, the issue could be caused by a pilot light out, a faulty ignition system, or a faulty flame sensor. Start by checking the pilot light; if it's off, follow the furnace's manual to relight it. If the pilot is on, but the furnace still blows cold air, check the ignition system. Make sure the ignition system is clean and not obstructed. Lastly, check the flame sensor. The flame sensor detects the presence of the flame and notifies the furnace control board to continue heating. If the flame sensor is dirty, clean it and try starting the furnace again.

The Furnace Makes Strange Noises:

Strange noises from the gas furnace can indicate several problems, including motor issues, dirty burners, or a damaged fan belt. Start by checking the furnace filters to make sure they are clean. Next, look at the furnace's blower motor for any signs of wear or tear and ensure the motor bearings have not worn out. Lastly, check the fan belt. If the belt is frayed or worn out, replace it.

The Furnace Continuously Runs:

The furnace may continue to run if the thermostat contacts are damaged, or the thermostat wire is the wrong size. If this is the case, try replacing the contacts and the wire. Also, adjust the temperature, ensuring it's not set higher than the room temperature.

The Furnace Shuts Off and On Erratically:

If the furnace shuts off and on erratically, the issue may be with a dirty filter or a malfunctioning flame sensor. Check the filter and replace it if necessary. If this doesn't solve the problem, clean the flame sensor.

Furnaces are complex systems, and it can be overwhelming when they break down. However, many of these problems can be solved quickly and easily. Before calling in a professional, try to diagnose the issue yourself by following the above mentioned steps. That said, always prioritize your safety. If you're unsure or uncomfortable about performing any of the troubleshooting steps, it's better to contact a licensed furnace technician to help you out.


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