A malfunctioning furnace is one of the greatest frustrations in winter. Such problems rarely seem to occur at a convenient time, and a major repair is never a welcome surprise. Understanding the most common problems you are likely to encounter will help you be prepared and possibly even avoid them. Most can be easily addressed with proper maintenance and a little attention, such as changing the air filter or checking the thermostat.
There are many reasons your furnace or heating system may need to be repaired. Here are the top ten problems that may cause a breakdown:
1. Malfunctioning thermostats
Several problems that appear to be with the furnace itself could actually be an issue with the thermostat. A faulty thermostat, or one that isn’t set correctly, could cause issues with comfort level or with the fan.
2. Air circulation problems
Damaged fan motors, belts and bearings can cause excessive heat or poor heating control.
3. Dirty or clogged filters
Dirty air filters lead to a multitude of problems. A dirty or clogged air filter prevents air from circulating which forces your system to work harder. Dust and debris collect in the system and eventually show up in your living spaces.
4. Furnace or heating system pilot or ignition control problems
When the pilot light or ignition control system gets dirty or worn out it no longer lights. Without it, the furnace cannot heat your home.
5. Lack of maintenance
Regular maintenance — including an annual professional inspection and replacing the air filter every 30-60 days — is the simplest, most cost-effective way to keep your system in top shape. Putting off maintenance can cost you more money over the life of your furnace with lower efficiency (higher utility bills), more frequent and costlier repairs, and shorter time to replacement.
6. The furnace doesn’t heat at all
This could be a problem with the thermostat setting, lack of power to the unit, gas not flowing properly or the pilot light not igniting.
7. The furnace doesn’t heat enough
This can be as simple as a dirty air filter or as complex as an improperly sized furnace.
8. Frequent cycling
Frequent on and off cycling may be due to a clogged filter, an incorrectly set thermostat or improper air flow.
9. The blower continuously runs
A blower that runs all the time could indicate a bad limit switch.
10. The furnace is too noisy
Normal furnace operation creates some noise, but typically not enough to be noticeable or disturbing. Any loud or unusual noises, however, such as rumbling, squeaking or rattles aren’t normal and should be checked out by your HVAC technician. These sounds may mean there is a mechanical problem, poor airflow or a clogged burner.
How to avoid furnace and heating issues
In most cases, keeping your furnace running well only takes these simple steps:
- Change the air filters every 30 to 60 days.
- Check the thermostat to be sure settings haven’t been inadvertently changed and that it is set for optimal use.
- Have your furnace regularly inspected and maintained by a qualified HVAC technician.
Each of these common issues can be resolved by one of Indoor Air Quality’s experienced, licensed and insured, NATE-certified technicians.
Call Indoor Air Quality to schedule your maintenance appointment today! We serve Highlands Ranch and the Denver Metro Area.