Nobody wants to call the furnace repairman only to find out their "big" furnace problem was that the circuit breaker was flipped. On the other hand, you don't want to neglect calling your HVAC technician for what seems like a little problem, only to be without heat a day later. The following handy guide will help you narrow down what might be wrong with your furnace—and whether or not you need to call the pros.
Is the furnace completely non-functional?
If you have an electric ignition furnace, check to make sure the circuit breaker didn't get flipped off accidentally. Make sure your thermostat has a working battery, too. (Normally, there is some form of battery icon displayed on your thermostat when the batteries are getting weak- look for this first.) You can "fix" either of these issues on your own. If the thermostat and circuit breaker seem fine, contact your HVAC technician. Perhaps faulty wiring between your thermostat and furnace is to blame.
Another possibility with more modern furnaces is a safety interlock on the blower door. If the door to the blower cabinet isn't completely closed, a safety switch will lock out operation. This can happen with regular filter maintenance or when a service tech is servicing the unit.
Is the furnace blowing only cool air?
If the blower is working but only cool air is coming out, then you may have a problem with your thermocouple, a safety device that regulates the flow of gas to the burner. An HVAC technician easily can replace a thermocouple—it's a rather simple repair. Another possibility is that your fuel supply is cut off. This could be a problem with gas or oil supply- occasionally a gas valve is left closed or inadvertently moved to the closed position.
Is your furnace making a strange noise?
Clinking and banging aren't normal. If your furnace is making noises, your HVAC technician will need to look it over to determine which parts may have become loose. Make sure you make the call promptly, as little noises can progress quickly to major malfunctions.
Has your efficiency plummeted?
If your heating bills skyrocket suddenly, try changing your air filter, as a dirty filter decreases efficiency. If this doesn't work, call your HVAC tech. You may have a cracked heat exchanger, leaky ducts, or issues with your vent system.
When your furnace starts giving you trouble, contact P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We offer comprehensive furnace repair services and will have your home warm again in no time.