If your furnace has problems that need repair and/or maintenance, there is a sense of urgency. When your furnace is operating properly, you really don’t even think about it. Your heat level and temperature inside the house is comfortable and adjusts to your settings. But, when something goes wrong, you can become miserable quickly. And, something wrong usually happens at the most inopportune time, like the middle of the night or on the coldest day of the season.

In most instances, a furnace problem can be relatively easy to correct. Usually, a trained technician can fix the problem quickly. And, you might even be able to do some troubleshooting yourself. A furnace problem can be anything from the furnace making squealing noises to pilot light issues to dirty filters. This article gives you 10 of the most common furnace problems you might encounter and possible troubleshooting. Some of these issues you may be able to fix and some you will need the expertise of a well-trained technician like ours at R & S Mechanical.

#1: The Thermostat Is Not Set to Heat

Check to see if the thermostat is on and set to heat. It should be set for at least 5 degrees above room temperature. If, after going through these actions, the issue isn’t fixed, call an experienced technician.

What You Can Do

  • Check the battery on the thermostat. You may need to change the batteries. These should be changed at least once a year. If your thermostat is wired to the house’s electrical system, it isn’t the battery!
  • Open the thermostat and blow any dust that may be clogging it.
  • Make sure the date and time is correct on electronic or programmable models because the system may be on a timer.
  • Check the breaker. If it is on, turn it off and check the fuse for the furnace.

#2: The Furnace Is Not Producing Any Heat

There can be some minor reasons for why the furnace is not producing heat, like the furnace isn’t plugged in. If it is plugged in, then check to see if the circuit breaker tripped. If, after going through these actions, the issue isn’t fixed, call an experienced technician for furnace repair.

What You Can Do

  • If the breaker for the furnace is in the OFF position, flip it back to ON.
  • If it’s between ON and OFF, flip to OFF before switching it to ON.
  • If the breaker trips again, there may be a problem with the wiring or something in the breaker itself. This requires a call to a technician.

#3: The Furnace is Not Producing Enough Heat

When your furnace is not heating the house sufficiently, then it is performing poorly and something is wrong. First thing to check is the air filter to see if it is clogged. Cleaning the debris accumulated on the filter aids in the flow of air. This allows the furnace to work more easily.

What You Can Do

  • Locate the filter. Most filters are in the intake, which looks like a grate in the floor, ceiling, or wall. Some filters are in the furnace itself.
  • Check the filter by holding it into the light. If the filter doesn’t let light shine through, it needs changing.
  • Replace the filter. Make sure the furnace is turned off first.

#4: The Furnace is Making a Grinding Noise

If the blower on the furnace is making a grinding or scraping sound, this means the ball bearings have worn out. Turn the unit off immediately and call a professional technician. We also recommend having an annual furnace tune-up to help minimize the possible issues with your system. It can also help identify a potential problem before it occurs.

#5: The Furnace is Making a Squealing Noise

A squealing or shrieking noise means you have a slipped or worn out blower belt. The blower fan belt can also cause the furnace to be on but with no air moving. You should call an experienced technician.

#6: The Unit is Cycling Frequently or Blowing Continuously

If your heating unit is frequently cycling between on and off modes, you may have a clogged filter, improper airflow, or a bad thermostat setting. Or, if the blower fan is running continuously, your limit control switch may be faulty.

What You Can Do

Check to be sure the thermostat is set to AUTO not ON. If it is, and the blower fan is running constantly, the limit switch is not shutting down the system when the air gets too hot. This requires a call to a technician.

#7: The Safety Switch On The Furnace Door Is Broken

If your furnace isn’t operating, check the safety switch on the furnace door. This switch prevents the fan and burner from coming on when the access panel is removed. The door must be in place for the switch to activate and the furnace to operate.

What You Can Do

You can follow these steps, or call a technician.

  • Shut the power off
  • Prepare the blower door
  • Wire the safety switch
  • Check and test

#8: Pilot Light or Ignition Problems

An older furnace with a pilot light may experience issues with the pilot light not staying lit. If this is the case, you will need to call a professional technician to investigate several possible causes. Some possibilities could be a malfunctioning thermocouple, a clogged pilot opening, flame setting, or defective safety switch.

#9: A Cracked Heat Exchanger

A cracked heat exchanger affects the furnace’s ability to operate properly. Additionally, it can allow carbon monoxide to come into your home. Signs of a cracked heat exchanger may include soot on the inside of the furnace, an unpleasant odor, water on the floor around the furnace, or indications of carbon monoxide poisoning. Shut the system down and call an expert immediately.

#10: Noise Inside Ducts

There are normal sounds from ducts because of the expansion and contraction that occurs during the heating and cooling. But, you may also have a loose flap of metal inside a duct. You can try to determine the exact location of the sound and make a small dent there. Or, you can call a technician.

Schedule a Call Out Today!

If you experience any of these 10 problems, and you have tried troubleshooting yourself with no luck, our furnace technicians are here to help. Our professional, expert technicians know how to correct and maintain your heating system for optimum efficiency. Your comfort and peace of mind is our number 1 goal! We serve Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Wake Forest, Garner, Durham, and all surrounding communities. Call us at 919-752-4817 or fill out the form below to request a service.