If you’re like the majority of homeowners, when your furnace is working perfectly, you likely don’t give it much thought. However, when it stops working, it can create a dire situation for your family and your home. By being able to identify the cause of your issue, you can get it fixed quickly.
Your thermostat is the brain behind your entire heating system, and when it malfunctions, it can hinder the operation of your system. If your heating system isn’t turning on, start by taking a look at your thermostat. If it’s is not displaying any readings, it may need new batteries, or the circuit breaker may have been tripped for your heating system.
If the breaker is on for your heating system and you’ve put in new batteries for your thermostat to no avail, it may be a problem with the internal components of your thermostat. In this case, you’ll need to replace your entire thermostat.
Tripped Door Safety Switch
All furnaces have a door that allows you to gain access to the internal components of the system. Whenever this door is opened, there is a door safety switch that becomes tripped. This stops the furnace from turning on until the door is properly shut. This feature protects you from any sort of injury when working on your furnace.
However, once you’re done with your furnace maintenance, you may not completely shut the door. This can cause your heating system not to turn on. It’s always a good idea to open and reset the furnace door to make sure that the safety switch becomes disengaged. If it doesn’t, it’s likely the switch has gone bad and will need to be replaced. It’s always a good idea to contact a professional to verify that your safety switch is indeed the problem before replacing it.
If one room of your home isn’t getting as warm as the others, the most likely reason is that the supply vent for that room is blocked by some sort of obstruction. This could be something as simple as a plant or a couch that got placed in front of the vent. By removing the obstruction from being in front of the supply vent, you’ll allow for adequate airflow to heat up that room.
Dirty Gas Tube
Your furnace will have a pilot light that remains lit while your system is on. The pilot light should always be a bright blue color. If you notice that the pilot light is now yellow instead of blue, it is an indication that there’s not enough fuel being supplied to the burner. The most likely culprit is a dirty gas tube that has debris that is obstructing the free flow of fuel to the burner. Simply cleaning the gas tube out and relighting the pilot light should allow it to turn back to a bright blue color.
Faulty Limit Switch
Whenever your thermostat senses that the temperature inside of your home is colder than your set temperature, it will turn on your furnace. Your furnace will run until the limit switch indicates that the temperature in your home has reached the desired set temperature.
Sometimes, this limit switch may malfunction and not alert your thermostat that your home has reached the appropriate temperature. When this happens, your furnace will continue to run nonstop. If you’re experiencing this issue, it’s best to call in a furnace professional to verify that your limit switch is indeed the source of your problem. They will also be able to fix it for you.
Frayed Fan Belt
The various fans throughout your heating system are powered by belts that are attached to blower motors. Over time, these belts can wear out and start to fray or even slip off their pulleys. When this happens, you’ll start to hear a loud squealing noise when your furnace kicks on. As soon as you start to hear the squealing noise, it’s important to shut your system off and replace the fan belt before it causes more damage to your system.
Worn Out Motor Ball Bearings
The various motors throughout your heating system have internal ball bearings. Over time, these ball bearings can start to wear out. When this happens, you’ll start to hear a loud grinding noise coming from your furnace. It’s important that you immediately shut off your furnace whenever you hear this noise to help prevent any more damage from happening to your system. You’ll need to call in a professional to replace the broken motor.
Wrong Thermostat Settings
While it may sound like a simple fix, some of the most common service calls that HVAC professionals get are a result of homeowners putting their thermostats on the wrong settings. It’s very easy to forget to switch from the cooling function to the heating function whenever you’re first starting your heating system for the winter.
If you notice that your system is not producing warm air, take a look at the settings that you have on your thermostat. Make sure that the thermostat is set to the heat function and is on auto mode. You’ll also want to make sure that the desired temperature setting is at least 5 degrees colder than the actual room temperature.
Cracked Heat Exchanger
An essential part of your furnace is the heat exchanger, which is responsible for separating the air in your home from the warming flame for your furnace. Whenever this heat exchanger gets extremely hot, it can cause the metal to go through expansion and contraction and result in cracks. This can be extremely dangerous for your family as it can allow harmful levels of carbon monoxide to enter your home.
The most obvious indication that you have a cracked heater exchange is that your carbon monoxide sensors go off. If you have a furnace in your home, it’s important that you have several carbon monoxide detectors. It’s best to turn off your furnace and contact a furnace professional to examine your heat exchanger. You should not run your furnace if the carbon monoxide detector has gone off as it can be deadly to you and your family.
One very common noise that you may hear coming from your heating system is popping. When the ducting material goes from being cold to having hot air pass through it from your furnace, it will expand and create a popping noise. While this isn’t a big issue as far as the safety of your furnace, it can be an annoying problem. To limit the amount of popping that you’re going to hear in your home, you can add more insulation around your existing ductwork to act as a sound barrier.
Contact the Professionals
Holbrook Heating & Air Conditioning is a customer-focused heating service professional for the Jamesville area. We also provide our customers with cooling, water heater, indoor air quality, and generator services. Pick up the phone and call us today to schedule your next service appointment.