Most people are unaware that furnaces are one of the most common household appliances to fail. Furnace problems can range from being simple to fix with a little elbow grease to necessitating major repairs by an HVAC professional. They are also very expensive to repair or replace. Don’t worry if your furnace is on its last legs! We’ve compiled a list of the most common issues you might encounter with your furnace – and what you can do about it.
1. Filters that are dirty and clogged:
Furnaces require clean, unobstructed air to function properly. If your filters are dirty or clogged, they will struggle to get enough airflow into your home, resulting in higher utility bills and inefficient cooling/heating.
Use an oil-free vacuum cleaner hose attachment to clean them on a regular basis. Make a point of replacing them every few months. You can purchase special furnace cleaning kits or hire a professional service to do it for less than the cost of purchasing all new filters and hiring someone yourself.
2. Heat Exchanger Cracked:
The heat exchanger is responsible for heating your home. When it cracks, carbon monoxide poisoning can occur, with no smell or warning signs. If you suspect that the heat exchanger is cracked, turn off your furnace immediately and contact a professional technician who will inspect it for any damage. Look for discoloration in your furnace’s vents if you suspect the heat exchanger is cracked.
3. Ball Bearings that have worn out:
A furnace’s many moving parts can cause wear and tear. Furnace ball bearings are one of the most common types of components to fail, so keep an eye on them. If your fan belt breaks or comes loose from your motor, you will almost certainly require new bearings! If your bearings are worn, you may notice strange noises or increased friction as the fan spins. You can buy them online and replace them yourself, but it’s a laborious process.
4. Malfunction of the Limit Switch:
A limit switch is a safety component that prevents the furnace from cycling on and off indefinitely. When it fails, your unit may overheat or short out, resulting in costly repairs. If you suspect this, inspect your circuit box for any unusual odors emanating from the area where your furnace cycles on and off. Don’t be concerned if it smells burnt! You can contact a repair technician to have them inspect the area before performing any repairs.
5. Non-operational thermostat:
This is one of the most common issues I see on a daily basis. If your thermostat isn’t working properly, you may notice higher-than-usual utility bills, or your home will be less comfortable. If this happens to you, make sure all of the wires are securely plugged into their sockets and that the timer is set correctly. If they’re plugged in and you don’t know how to program your thermostat, hire a professional to inspect it.
6. No air blowing from the furnace:
If your furnace isn’t blowing air, you might notice strange odors or feel uneasy in your home. The issue could be with the blower motor or inside the unit itself, which is why it’s critical to seek professional assistance. If you suspect this, check all of the vents to ensure they are open. If your furnace is blowing air but it isn’t very cold, it could be due to a faulty heat exchanger or blower motor.
7. A spark igniter that has been burned out:
If your furnace does not turn on at all, it is possible that the spark igniter has burned out. The burner is powered by the igniter. This is something you must address right away. If your furnace does not turn on at all, make sure there are no obstructions in front of or around the unit. If everything appears to be in order, the spark igniter may be burned out, and you should seek professional assistance.
Here are some maintenance tips to help your furnace and prevent issues down the road. Have you ever had a problem with your furnace? As the weather turns colder, now is the time to have it checked! Allow Elkton Home Heating and Air to assist you! Call us at (410) 441-5077.