The Most Common Issues with Heating Furnaces and How to Fix Them
May 8, 2023
A heating furnace is a crucial appliance for any home, especially during the winter months. However, like any other mechanical equipment, heating furnaces can develop issues affecting their functionality.
These heating furnace issues can range from minor faults to significant malfunctions that render the furnace unusable. In this article, we'll discuss the most common problems with heating furnaces and how to fix them.
Common Heating Furnace Issues and How to Fix Them
1. Dirty Air Filters
Unclean air filters are among the most frequent problems with heating furnaces. Dust, dirt, and other particles must not enter the furnace due to the air filter. To maintain the proper temperature, the furnace must work harder when the filter becomes clogged with debris. This might restrict airflow. Increased furnace wear and tear and higher energy costs may result from this.
Changing the air filter regularly is the simple solution to this issue. If you have allergies or pets, changing the air filter more frequently than every three months is advised. Any hardware store or online retailer should have air filters. The filter you choose for your furnace must be the appropriate size and kind.
2. Malfunctioning Thermostat
Your home's thermostat is responsible for controlling the temperature. If it breaks down, the furnace could act sporadically, causing temperature changes, uneven heating, or not turning on. Ensuring the thermostat is set to the appropriate temperature is the first step in troubleshooting a broken thermostat. Try changing the batteries if it is. The thermostat might need to be changed if the issue continues. Although inexpensive and straightforward to install, thermostats are best left in the hands of a professional.
3. Ignition Issues
The ignition system may be faulty if your furnace won't switch on or remain on. Most modern furnaces either employ an electronic or pilot ignition system. While the pilot system ignites the gas with a small flame, the electronic ignition system lights the burners with an electronic spark.
Ensure the furnace is plugged in and the circuit breaker is turned on if your ignition system is electronic. If the issue still exists, you might need to examine the ignition switch or contact a specialist to assist you in troubleshooting.
If you have a pilot ignition system, ensure the pilot light is lit. If it's not, you may need to relight it. Follow the instructions in your furnace's manual carefully, and if you need clarification or are uncomfortable doing it yourself, call a professional.
4. Dirty Burners
The burners in your furnace are responsible for heating the air circulating throughout your home. Over time, they can accumulate dirt and debris, leading to poor combustion and reduced efficiency. Dirty burners can also produce a yellow flame, a safety hazard.
To clean the burners, turn off the furnace and wait for it to cool down. Then, remove the access panel and vacuum the burners with a soft-bristled brush. If there's a significant dirt buildup, you may need to call a professional to clean the burners.
5. Faulty Blower Motor
Your home's warm air is circulated throughout by the blower motor. Uneven heating will result from a furnace that needs to be fixed because it won't be able to distribute the warm air efficiently.
Check if the fan is operating if you believe the blower motor is malfunctioning. If it isn't, you might need to inspect the fan belt or get the engine replaced.
6. Lack of Maintenance
To ensure they operate correctly, heating furnaces need routine maintenance, just like any other item. Lack of care can result in various problems, such as worn-out parts and unclean filters.
It is suggested to arrange a professional tune-up for your furnace at least once a year to keep it in good condition. The expert will examine and clean the furnace's various sections, swap out worn-out components, and make necessary changes to ensure peak efficiency.
7. Dirty or Damaged Ducts
Problems can also arise with the ducts that distribute hot air throughout your house. Damaged ducts can enable hot air to escape, causing uneven heating, while dirty ducts can restrict airflow and lower heating effectiveness.
You can use a vacuum cleaner with a long hose attachment to remove dirt or debris from filthy ducts. You might need to hire air duct cleaners in Washington, DC, to patch or replace broken ducts.
8. Clogged Condensate Line
A condensate line probably drains water away from your high-efficiency furnace. This pipe might accumulate debris over time, which could cause water to get in and perhaps cause water damage.
Locate the drain pipe and use a wet/dry vacuum to suck out any debris to clear a clogged condensate line. Additionally, the condensate trap may need to be cleaned. Call an expert if you need clarification about how to proceed or if the issue continues.
9. Faulty Limit Switch
A safety feature known as the limit switch turns off the furnace if it heats up too much. If the switch is broken, the furnace can turn off too soon, limiting the heating system's effectiveness.
To fix a broken limit switch, locate it by consulting the furnace's manual and ensuring it's clean and debris-free. You might also need to change the temperature settings to avoid the furnace overheating. Call a professional heating furnace repair company to replace the switch if the issue continues.
10. The Pilot Light Won't Stay Lit.
If you have a pilot ignition system, the pilot light may occasionally go out, preventing the furnace from turning on. If this happens, try relighting the pilot light according to the instructions in your furnace's manual. If it won't stay lit or keeps going out, you may need to clean the pilot tube or replace the thermocouple.
By being aware of these common issues and knowing how to fix them, you can keep your heating furnace functioning properly and avoid costly repairs or replacements. Remember to prioritize safety, and feel free to call a professional if you need clarification on any repairs or maintenance.