Common Issues To Check When Troubleshooting A Malfunctioning Furnace

Posted on: 15 May 2015


Is your home unaccountably chilly even though your furnace should be working just fine? Most of the issues you'll experience with your furnace are fairly straightforward. Modern furnaces last decades and usually only require fairly sporadic maintenance and servicing. Before you call int he professionals, you might want to check to make sure that these very common issues aren't causing your problem.

Make Sure Your Thermostat is Working

Sometimes the furnace isn't functioning because it doesn't know that it should be. Double check your digital or analog furnace to make sure that it's reporting the proper temperature. If your thermostat isn't working properly, you may need to temporarily adjust the temperature you have your HVAC set at. For instance, if your thermostat is reading a temperature of 10 degrees over the actual temperature, you would set your HVAC system up by 10 until you can get the thermostat fixed. 

Check Your Furnace's Settings

Sometimes the furnace just never turns on or never turns off even though it seems fine. Often, this is because a setting in your home's thermostat or smart HVAC unit is set wrong. The furnace should be set to run "automatically," which will set it to run as needed. Sometimes this is set to "on," but that's actually incorrect because it will keep the furnace running all the time. "Off" will keep it off. If the setting is correct and the furnace still doesn't turn off when it should, it could be a problem with the thermostat as mentioned. 

Replace the Furnace's Filter

If the furnace is acting erratically or the air temperature is going up and down, you might want to replace the furnace's filter -- especially if it visibly looks as though it may be clogged. A clogged furnace filter, just like a clogged air conditioning filter or a clogged clothes dryer filter, will keep the furnace from properly dispensing warm air and will make the furnace seem as though it's not functioning properly when it's really just an issue of airflow. Similarly, you may want to check the vents to make sure they aren't blocked. 

You should never try to fix your furnace yourself if you aren't confident about what you're doing; a furnace can be exceptionally dangerous, causing fire and even exploding. It's better to call a heating repair company to at least diagnose the issue. Once a heating repair expert has advised you, you can then decide whether it's a do-it-yourself task or whether it's something that's better left to them.