According to Murphy’s law, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. One area that you don’t want to see this law go into effect is your home’s heating system. The good news is that most furnace problems are preventable or fixable.
Common furnace problems include the unit not turning on, underperforming (not producing enough heat), running continuously, short-cycling, and turning off unexpectedly. In some cases, there are simple, DIY fixes, while others require a professional HVAC technician.
The furnace doesn’t turn on
If your home is below your comfort level and the furnace refuses to kick on, there could be many causes. But the first place to check is the thermostat. Whether you have a traditional dial, programmable, or smart thermostat, it serves as the furnace’s central control. Check the thermostat for the following:
- The batteries are not dead
- It is turned on and set to “heat”
- The temperature setting is accurate, and a timer is not set
- The inside of the thermostat is dust-free, and the wiring appears to be intact
The furnace is on but isn’t pumping out enough heat
Does the air coming out of the vents feel suspiciously cool? Or does it seem like the furnace is running for too long before reaching the desired temperature? An underperforming furnace can be frustrating and caused by a handful of issues. Before you get too worried, try replacing the air filter. Over time, the filter can get clogged with dust, dirt, pet hair, and other debris, which forces the furnace to work harder to maintain proper airflow.
The furnace is always running
Sometimes, you can have too much of a good thing – such as when your furnace endlessly runs even when it’s warm enough inside the home. A quick fix may be checking the thermostat to make sure it’s not set to the “continuous fan” function. Another explanation may be a faulty limit control switch, which requires the attention of an HVAC technician.
The furnace turns off unexpectedly
Just when it seems like everything is going smoothly with the furnace, it suddenly shuts off before it’s done heating. One explanation could be a dirty flame sensor. When working correctly, the flame sensor is a safety feature that ensures natural gas isn’t leaking inside your home. However, if the sensor is dirty or faulty, it may incorrectly think the flame is out and shut off the furnace as a precaution. An HVAC professional can clean or replace the flame sensor.
Short-cycling is when the furnace turns on and off rapidly – even for a couple of seconds at a time. You’ll hear the unit cycle and notice that the indoor temperature is colder than it should be. Unfortunately, there are numerous causes of short-cycling. With any luck, it may just be an old, clogged air filter. Replace the filter and see if the issue continues. If it does, contact an HVAC professional to inspect for more serious causes such as faulty blower motor or flame sensor.
Furnace troubleshooting and repair in Buffalo, MN
Dealing with a malfunctioning furnace can be stressful. Don’t lose your cool – instead, call the experts at DeZiel Heating & AC. We’ll get to the bottom of the problem and fix the furnace so you can enjoy a comfortable and safe home. Schedule an appointment today by calling (763) 684-3965.