Furnaces are designed to keep your home comfortable and warm; however, like any mechanical device, they can sometimes develop issues requiring professional repair.
While some furnace problems require professional intervention, homeowners can often quickly fix them at home. Below you can find some of the most frequently experienced furnace issues and their solutions.
Do you need to get in contact with a professional HVAC service? Click the following link to schedule a furnace repair in Wellington.
1. Low Airflow
An ineffective furnace works harder and costs you more each month in energy bills; often, this is caused by a dirty air filter preventing airflow. We advise changing out filters regularly to help your furnace work more efficiently and save you money.
Other reasons your furnace might not provide sufficient warmth are blocked vents, poor insulation, and thermostat issues. Frequent cycles might be caused by faulty sensors or settings that don’t enable your house to reach its desired temperature.
Leakage from your ducts may also limit how much heat is circulating throughout your home, making heating less efficient than it should be. Luckily, this issue can often be remedied quickly by applying sealing mastic or foil tape over the leaks in your ductwork. However, in extreme cases, requiring professional assistance due to motor problems may lead to low heat output in your home.
2. Dirty Air Filter
An air filter with debris restricts airflow, forcing your furnace to work harder to keep your home warm. Over time, this can cause it to overheat, eventually prompting its safety switch to shut it off to avoid further damage. If there’s dust present on your filter, it may be time for replacement.
Clogged air filters make it hard for your system to efficiently distribute air throughout your home, potentially leading to cold spots or rooms that remain less warm than others. One way of testing whether there’s an airflow issue is using the white sheet test: suspend a white bed sheet near vents in your home; if it turns brown or gray after hanging up for several minutes, that indicates an air filter needs replacing.
Some heating systems employ automatic or manual damper systems to further regulate air movement, with automatic dampers being more reliable. Sometimes, the louvers on these dampers become stuck, restricting airflow. Professionals can test and unstick any such restricted dampers and check to ensure your thermostat is set accurately to control your system.
3. Thermostat Issues
Thermostats are an integral component of furnace operation, as they control when your furnace turns on and how warm your home should feel.
However, it could send incorrect signals to your furnace, leading to inconsistent heating. In many instances, simply swapping batteries will address this problem; otherwise, you should open up the thermostat to clear away any dust or debris build-up inside it.
Short cycling occurs when your furnace cycles on and off multiple times throughout the day without fully heating a room, an indicator of an overworked system that requires professional inspection and repair.
No matter the sound your furnace emits, it is vital not to overlook any warning signals. Consulting with a professional as soon as a problem surfaces can prevent minor repairs from becoming costly or dangerous ones and ensure you and your family remain warm all winter long.
4. Stuck Dampers
If you hear rumbling, whooshing, or squealing noises coming from your heating system, they should not be considered normal; those sounds indicate something is amiss with it and it needs repair or replacement. Depending on what sound you’re hearing – for instance, rumbling could mean loose panels need tightening, while squealing noises could indicate that an old motor belt needs to be changed.
Dampers on your furnace help control pressure in the system and manage airflow between various ductwork zones in your house. If one gets stuck closed, however, this could reduce airflow significantly, thereby decreasing your home’s energy efficiency and negatively affecting its energy performance.
5. The Fan Limit Control Switch
Many furnace problems may need the attention of a professional technician, but many issues can still be managed at home by handymen themselves. Common examples include clogged air filters, malfunctioning thermostats, and failing blower motors. More severe matters like rumbling, rattling, or whining noises indicate mechanical or airflow concerns, which should be reviewed by a professional immediately.
Fan limit control switches are integral to your furnace’s safety system, keeping its blower in fan mode until the heat exchanger shut-off occurs. If it continues running beyond this point, there is likely something amiss with its functioning, which must be addressed or replaced accordingly.
Old electro-mechanical switches feature a probe that extends into the plenum (a box attached to your ductwork that distributes hot and cold air throughout your house), while newer solid-state ones mount onto plates that screw onto burner housings. Whatever type of switch is in your home, testing its continuity will quickly give an indication as to when it needs replacing.