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Technician looking over a gas furnace

Tips for Troubleshooting Furnace Problems

When the chill of winter is upon you, your furnace becomes the heart of your home because it ensures comfort. When it decides to take an unexpected break, however, this can be frustrating and alarming because you worry about pipes freezing and suffering health problems from cold temperatures. Here are some essential tips for troubleshooting furnace issues that can help you get the heat back on and save you from chilly nights.

Check Your Thermostat

Look at your thermostat. It might sound too simple, but sometimes the solution is as easy as making sure it is set to “heat” and that the temperature is high enough to trigger the furnace. Also, if your thermostat runs on batteries, check if they need replacing. A dead thermostat means a silent furnace.

Inspect the Filter

A dirty filter can cause all sorts of problems for your furnace from reducing efficiency to shutting it down entirely. Pull out the filter and hold it up to the light. If you cannot see through it, it is time for a cleaning or a replacement. Keeping a clean filter helps your furnace run better and improves the air quality in your home.

Ensure the Power Is On

It might seem obvious, but checking the power supply can sometimes be overlooked. Ensure that your furnace’s switch is in the “on” position. Also, check your circuit breaker or fuse box. The breaker for the furnace might have tripped, or a fuse might have blown. Flipping the breaker back on or replacing a blown fuse may be the quick fix you need.

Look at the Pilot Light

If you have a gas furnace, check the pilot light. This is a small but vital component. If it is out, your furnace will not run. You can usually find instructions for relighting it on the furnace itself. However, if you smell gas or the pilot light will not stay lit after several attempts, it is time to call a professional. This can indicate a more significant issue, such as an electrical problem or gas leak.

Listen for Unusual Noises

Strange noises coming from your furnace can be alarming. A whining, banging, or grinding sound can indicate different issues, from a loose belt to a problem with the motor. While you are not able to fix these issues yourself, identifying and describing them in great detail can help a professional fix the problem faster.

When to Call the Experts

While simple furnace issues can be addressed without expert help, there are situations where professional intervention is the best course of action. If you have exhausted the above tips without success or encounter complex issues like gas leaks, persistent ignition failures, or anything involving electrical repairs, it is time to call in the experts. Annual professional maintenance can also stave off many of these issues.

Keeping your furnace in good working order makes certain you and your family stay warm all winter long no matter how low the temperature drops outside. If you encounter furnace trouble that you cannot solve on your own, contact Hardy Heating for furnace repair to restore warmth to your Wasilla, AK home.