5 Common Furnace Repair Issues

Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning

Gaithersburg HVAC Contractors


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Waking up cold and shivering in the middle of the night is never a good feeling. Unfortunately, this is often how you learn that your furnace is in need of repair. Whether it is in the middle of the night or just on an especially cold day, it can seem like furnaces only break at the most inconvenient times. This article will discuss in detail different furnace repair issues.

Man fixing a furnace during the cold winter monthsSometimes a broken furnace just means it will heat less efficiently, or it means that the house will not get as warm as you would like. Other times, the furnace will not work at all and you will have no heat. It all depends on what the problem is. If you are lucky, you may be able to fix the problem on your own. However, you may be out of your depth. Calling a professional can be expensive, but it is usually worth it. Here are five common furnace repair issues that you should call a professional for.

Dirty filters

You would be surprised at how something as simple as a dirty filter can shut down your heating system. Dirty filters make it more difficult to circulate the air, which in turn means that the furnace has to work a lot harder to heat your house. It will take much longer for your home to warm up and it may never reach the temperature you want.

What’s worse is that dirty filters can damage the limit switch that controls the fan. If that happens, you will definitely need a service call. Changing your filters regularly is simple, easy, and it makes your furnace run more efficiently, which saves you a lot of money. If you are not sure how to change the filter or how often to change it, call a professional and they can come and show you how and when to do it.

Thermostat problems

First, check the simple stuff. Low batteries in a thermostat can cause it to malfunction. If the battery levels are low, replace the batteries and see if that solves the problem. Then check the settings on the thermostat. You want the fan to be set on “auto.” If it’s set to On, Low, Medium, or High, it will run continuously, which will drain the thermostat battery. This problem will make the furnace less efficient.

If these steps do not solve your problem and you still suspect the thermostat is the issue, call a professional to come and look at it. They can tell you if the thermostat is broken or if there is a more serious problem.

The furnace will not start

furnace not starting and needing to be repaired by a professionalYou have set the temperature above the house’s current temperature, and nothing happens. The furnace does not start. There are several reasons this could be happening. First, double check that the thermostat is set to heat. It seems simple, but you would be surprised at how many service calls result from not switching the thermostat from cool to heat.

It’s also possible that the furnace switch is off. This will look like a normal light switch, and should be located on or near the furnace. Just turn it on, wait a few minutes, and you are good to go. If that does not work, and the thermostat is not malfunctioning, you may have a more serious problem. There could be a wiring short in the furnace that is tripping the circuit breaker, or there may be a problem with the furnace’s circuit board. Either way, a professional HVAC technician is needed to diagnose and repair the problem.

The furnace is blowing cold air

This usually means that there is a problem with the gas. Check the gas cock near the furnace. The handle should be parallel to the gas line. If it is, then there is a problem with either the gas valve or the ignition.

The gas valve may not be opening properly, in which case it will need to be replaced. Or, the igniter may be failing, in which case it must be replaced. Either way, this is the sort of work that should be left to the professionals. It is possible that there is a simple fix, but it is far better to have a qualified HVAC technician examine the furnace than to try and diagnose and fix the problem yourself.

Furnace keeps shutting off

If the furnace lights and shuts off immediately or a short time afterward, there are a few different potential causes. It could be as simple as a dirty filter, so be sure to check the furnace filters before doing anything else. It is always a good idea to have one or two extra filters around in case they are needed for situations like this.

If the filter is not dirty or if cleaning or replacing the filter did not fix the problem, the issue could be electrical. It’s possible that the flame sensor is no longer working and needs to be replaced. It is also possible that the thermostat is failing and needs to be replaced. These are both tasks you can do yourself.

Man replacing air filter of furnace due to it being old and dirtyThere are several other potential causes for this, all of which must be diagnosed by a technician. If the filter, flame sensor, or thermostat are not the problem, call a professional. In fact, if the filter is not the problem, call a professional. The flame sensor and thermostat can be fixed by you, but that is a lot of time and effort to spend on something that might not be the solution you need. A professional will be able to accurately determine what the problem is the first time.

A broken furnace is incredibly frustrating, and we know you want to get it up and running again as soon as possible. The best way to do that is to call in a professional who can diagnose the problem correctly on the first try and fix it quickly. If you have more questions about common furnace problems or would like to schedule a furnace repair appointment, call Presidential Heating and Air today.

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