Troubleshooting Your Furnace: 3 Common Furnace Issues (and How to Fix Them)

Experiencing furnace problems can be stressful, especially if they arise as temperatures are dropping outdoors. Fortunately, not all furnace issues require major repairs.

Three of the most common furnaces problems are the unit refusing to turn on, not producing heat, or turning off prematurely. Solving these common issues can be as simple as flipping a switch or cleaning a filter. However, sometimes professional troubleshooting is necessary to get your furnace running efficiently.

Let’s explore these common furnace issues, why they happen, and – most importantly – how to fix them.

Problem 1: The furnace won’t turn on

If your furnace doesn’t turn on at all, it can definitely be cause for concern. Luckily, the most common solutions to a furnace stuck in the “off” position are quite simple.

The solutions:

  • Check to make sure the switch to your furnace is not switched off. If it is, you can probably figure out what to do next: switch it back to the on position.
  • If your furnace is switched to on but still isn’t igniting, head to your circuit breaker to make sure no circuits have been tripped. As long as there aren’t any signs of an overloaded circuit (such as burnt residue near the circuit), simply flip the circuit off and back on again.
  • Last but not least, the problem might lie in your thermostat. If the furnace thermostat is not set at a temperature higher than the current temperature in your home, the furnace will not switch on to provide heat. In this scenario, adjusting your thermostat to a higher temperature should ignite the furnace.

Problem 2: The furnace isn’t producing heat

The solutions:

  • Check to be sure the pilot light is lit. If it isn’t, follow the steps outlined on the furnace unit to relight the pilot. Be sure to do this safely and with the furnace turned completely off to avoid a potential hazard.
  • If your furnace runs on gas, check to make sure the gas supply isn’t the problem. If you have a gas-powered water heater and it is working fine, the gas supply is not the underlying issue.
  • A dirty air filter might be the culprit. Furnace filters should be changed frequently (as recommended on the product’s packaging) to ensure the system continues running efficiently. Filters can get clogged easily, resulting in blockages that force the furnace to blow cool air.

Problem 3: The furnace turns off prematurely

The solutions:

  • Again, it is important to check your furnace air filter. If the filter is clogged or damaged, it will prevent your furnace from working effectively.
  • If the air filter isn’t the problem, your issue might not be in the furnace itself. If you find the furnace is turning off before it provides enough heat for your house, you might have an issue in your ductwork where warm air is escaping. In this case, it is best to contact a professional for troubleshooting and repairs.
  • To determine if a ductwork issue is at play, double-check the thermostat on your furnace. Set the temperature a degree or two higher to see if you notice a difference in your home’s overall warmth.

Expert furnace repair

Hopefully, the answer to your furnace problem is one of the simple solutions listed above. If you’re still dealing with a malfunctioning furnace, it’s time to call the professionals at Robert B. Payne, Inc. We proudly serve the Fredericksburg, VA area. Schedule an appointment today at (540) 373-5876.