How to Troubleshoot a Furnace

Posted Apr 10, 2017

furnace troubleshooting

Use our furnace troubleshooting guide to make get the home fires burning again.

For all of Vancouver’s wonderful summer weather, it comes back on us threefold during the winter months. It’s during these times when a non-functioning furnace can cause the most frustration and discomfort. Nothing’s worse than being stuck in a home without a working furnace, so before you start rubbing two sticks together, check this out.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, if you’re uncomfortable doing any of these steps, then you should call a furnace repair professional.

thermostat graphic

Thermostat S.T.A.T!

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how much the thermostat setting gets overlooked. Some thermostats must be set to ‘heat’. Double-check that your thermostat is set up correctly.

Give It Some Juice!

Furnaces often have a switch with two positions: Auto and On. This switch is essentially installed as a light switch, so you or someone else may have mistaken it for a light switch. If the technician installed it correctly, the up position is ‘On’.

You should check to make sure that your furnace is getting electricity by briefly switching it to the ‘On’ position. If your furnace comes on, you know it’s not an electricity problem. If it doesn’t, well then it might be time to call a professional.

Pilot Light Mayday?

Older furnaces usually have pilot lights, unless it’s less than 20 years old. For those who have pilot light furnaces, check to see if it’s gone out. If it has, there are instructions for relighting in your owner’s manual.

If you don’t have a pilot light, then you can skip this step.

Filter It Out

Filters can be easy to forget about in a furnace, all tucked away behind that impossible-to-get-off panel. Actually, they can be one of the most common problems that occur with furnaces. The air filter’s job is to make sure that clean air is being sent into the furnace and throughout your house.

When your filter gets clogged, the heat inside the furnace can build up and start to cause problems. If your filter is noticeably dirty, then it’s time to get a new one. Even if your filter doesn’t look dirty, you might want to buy one anyway. Newer furnaces are bit smarter than the older models. They shut down before the filter can get dirty enough to cause issues.

furnace repairman

A NOTE: Your filter is not a carpet. You can’t just bang it out or clean it and return it. Filters are sprayed with an oil designed to catch dirt, so when they get used up, you need to buy a new one.

When to Call a Professional

You might already be considering calling a professional because it’s freezing, but whenever you feel even slightly uncomfortable performing any steps, you should get a professional to look.

Get Milani to come and check out your furnace troubles. You’ll be glad you did.

*Never mess around with any gas or fire unless you’re a certified technician.*

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