Troubleshooting Three Common Furnace Issues
Furnaces, like all other major appliances within your home, will deteriorate over time due to general wear and the stresses that come with age. This can create a number of different issues with your furnace that affect its ability to provide a comfortable level of heat to the interior of your home throughout the winter season. Understanding what some of the most common problems associated with a malfunctioning furnace are, and how to troubleshoot them, can help you maintain your furnace's performance for as long as possible.
No Air Flow
If you notice that your furnace is turning on and off as normal, but there is no air flowing out of your vents, you should check the air filter to make sure that it is not clogged. An old and dirty air filter can prevent the furnace from drawing in any air to transport heat with, and can leave the rest of your home freezing. As a general rule of thumb, you should replace your air filter every six months or so, depending on usage, to ensure proper air flow. You can check the filter by removing it from the casing in the side of your furnace: this can usually be done by hand or with a screwdriver. Take the dirty air filter into a hardware store to match the size up to a replacement filter if necessary.
Cycling On and Off
One of the most common problems that a furnace may experience as it loses its efficiency is known as cycling, which is when the furnace will rapidly turn on and off in an effort to maintain the temperature levels within your home. For a new furnace, this points to a furnace that is not powerful enough to heat the space that it is installed in, but for an older one, it usually points to a blockage within the ductwork that is preventing proper airflow throughout your home. Having your ducts cleaned and replacing the air filter in your furnace is usually enough to get things flowing again.
If you notice that there is air flowing out of your vents, but the air itself is not hot, your furnace's thermostat may be to blame. Check to make sure that the thermostat is set to a proper temperature and schedule, and try raising the temperature several degrees to see if you notice a difference. If this is not the case, however, your heating element may be to blame, and you should contact an HVAC professional to inspect your unit and determine the best course of action, which will most likely be a furnace replacement depending on the age of your unit.
For more info, contact an HVAC business in your area.