Homes and businesses across America rely on gas-powered furnaces to provide their heat. Generally speaking, these appliances last for quite some time before developing any significant operating problems. However, eventually even the most well-made furnace will begin to malfunction. When this happens, it can lead to everything from a cold interior to a dangerous gas build-up. Let’s take a look at five problems most likely to affect your furnace, as well as some key troubleshooting steps to take when these issues arise.
Your Furnace Doesn’t Produce Any Heat
Sometimes gas furnaces fail to produce heat for a range of reasons. Troubleshooting for this issue should include checking for a faulty thermostat, checking for a thermostat that’s set too low to turn the furnace on, making sure that the fuel control valve is set in its “on” position and checking for a tripped or blown fuse or circuit breaker. If you have a furnace equipped with a pilot light, check for the telltale flame for this light. If you have a furnace equipped with a hot surface ignition (HSI) electronic ignition or intermittent pilot ignition system, only a technician familiar with these technologies can safely check for problems.
Your Furnace Doesn’t Produce Enough Heat
A gas furnace may fail to produce enough heat if it has a dirty air filter. Typically, you can take care of this issue yourself. Other potential causes of inadequate heat production include lack of sufficient airflow to the furnace’s combustion chamber and dirty or misaligned gas burners. A qualified technician can assess the impact of these two issues.
Your Furnace Rapidly Cycles On and Off
A dirty air filter can also cause your gas furnace to cycle rapidly between its “on” and “off” settings. In addition, two other issues may be responsible for this problem: a malfunctioning blower motor and a malfunctioning thermostat component called a heat anticipator. You’ll need help from a technician for either one of these issues.
Your Gas Furnace Fails to Turn Off
If your gas furnace constantly runs, troubleshooting efforts should focus on two potential underlying causes. In some cases, you may simply have your thermostat mistakenly set to its “fan continuous” setting. However, you may also have a faulty fan component called a limit control switch. Again, consult a technician for advice on how to address this issue.
Your Gas Furnace Makes Strange Noises
Your gas furnace may start making unusual noises like squealing or rumbling. Possible causes include a slipped blower belt, a faulty blower motor or lack of sufficient lubrication on the bearings housed in the blower motor shaft. If you hear a rumbling sound while the furnace’s gas burners are active, you may have dirty burners. If you hear this sound when the burners are off, you may have problems with an improperly adjusted pilot light. Seek help from a technician in order to deal with any of these issues.
Each set of problems in your gas furnace has its own set of potential repair options. After troubleshooting the problem and determining what’s wrong, a qualified technician will choose the proper method to perform a lasting repair. A heating professional like those at Chief Appliance can provide the best gas furnace troubleshooting tips, helping you minimize your chances of experiencing further problems in the future.