During the cold winter weather, it is crucial to have a working furnace for survival and comfort. Without it, you would be forced to huddle around a wood fire to remain warm. Unfortunately, in order to ensure that your furnace is run efficiently and strongly, it will need regular homeowner upkeep and professional tune-ups. However, even with proper maintenance, your furnace might break down. Let’s get into some common home furnace problems and how to fix them:
Related Post: Vital Tips and Tasks for Maintaining A Furnace
1. Furnace not receiving power
If your furnace isn’t receiving power, the first thing that you need to do is make sure that it is plugged in. It might seem ridiculous, but it might have gotten unplugged, and it is best to take a look before checking other possibilities. If everything is fine at that end and the furnace is plugged in but not receiving power, check if the circuit breaker has tripped:
- If the breaker is in the ‘Off’ position, flip it to ‘On’.
- If it’s between ‘Off’ and ‘On’, flip to ‘Off’ and then switch it to ‘On’.
- If the breaker manages to stay in the ‘On’ position, chances are that the tripped breaker was just a fluke.
- In case the breaker trips again, there might be a problem with the beaker or the wiring. Regardless of the furnace repair issue, get a licensed electrician to look at the problem.
2. Furnace making a scraping or grinding sound
If your blower is making a scraping or grinding noise, it might be because your ball bearings have been worn out. In this case, you should immediately turn the unit off and call a qualified HVAC professional.
3. Furnace making a squealing noise
If your furnace is making a squealing or shrieking noise, it might be a sign of a worn or slipped blower belt. If you are mechanically inclined, you might be able to tackle this furnace repair by yourself.
- If there is no damage to the belt, tighten it.
- If there is wear and tear on the belt, get a new one and replace it using the instructions provided in the manual.
If you are not sure whether you can fix it on your own or not, don’t take chances and call a professional. It is important to note that sometimes there are no fixes and your only option is furnace replacement.
4. Ignition or pilot light issues
Older furnaces have a pilot light. If yours doesn’t stay lit, you have to call a professional who will be able to investigate possible causes like a clogged pilot orifice or a misbehaving thermocouple. Other causes might be a defective safety switch or flame setting too low. In case you have an electric ignitor, you should check your flame sensor’s condition. When the furnace detects gas but no flames, this sensor shuts the whole furnace down. If these sensors are dirty, they won’t be able to detect the flames and shut everything down unnecessarily. Here is how you can clean them:
- Turn the power off to your furnace
- Shut the gas supply valve down
- Remove the flame sensor carefully using a screwdriver
- Use fine-grit sandpaper for rubbing the sensor gently
- Wipe the dust with a paper towel
- Replace the sensor
5. Dirty filters
The importance of replacing your furnace filters regularly cannot be further exaggerated. If you have clogged filters, it will restrict your airflow, making your furnace work harder. This can lead to overheating of the heat exchanger, which will eventually shut your unit down. In the best-case scenario, your furnace will be producing a lot less heat for a lot more money. In the worst-case scenario, you will have a chilly house and a furnace with a short lifespan. Don’t forget to replace these filters regularly.
So, these were some of the common home furnace repair problems and how you can fix them. With these tips, you will be able to take care of common problems yourself. However, if you are not comfortable handling the furnace yourself, you shouldn’t hesitate to call a professional.