10 Common Problems With Furnaces

A furnace is an essential system to keep your indoor temperatures comfortable. You’ll hardly notice that the system is operating in the background if it has no issues.

Though the furnace is designed to have a long and efficient life span, something could easily malfunction along the way. In most cases, our technicians with their vast knowledge of heating repairs will fix the problem quickly.

Understanding some common furnace problems will help homeowners troubleshoot and know what should be fixed in their furnace system. Here are a few common issues.

1. Furnace Is Making Weird Noises

Any furnace will make some noise as it operates, and this is completely normal. You might hear a whooshing noise as air passes through the ductwork. Additionally, the blower produces relatively low noise.

However, some strange noises can be a sign that something is wrong with the furnace. If the furnace is making a rattling noise, that indicates something is loose and needs tightening.

If the furnace is making a loud rumbling noise, it’s a sign some fuel could have been left in the combustion chamber. At this point, you should turn off your furnace and call an expert for heating repairs.

2. The Thermostat Isn’t Functioning

A malfunctioning thermostat is often reflected in several ways. It could show inaccurate readings that result in a blank readout, or the furnace could run continuously. This makes it difficult for a typical homeowner to determine the problem.

We advise you to turn off the system and ensure it’s in the correct setting. Refer to the user manual. If the problem persists, it’s likely best to call a local professional.

3. Dirt in the Furnace Filter

This is one of the most frequent problems and causes a gas heating system to not operate at peak efficiency. You can easily tell when the filter is dirty. A dirty filter could be the culprit of several furnace issues. Dirt can make the filter switch on and off too often, not produce enough heat, or not function at all.

Homeowners should clean their filters regularly (every two to three months) to prevent common furnace problems.

4. Blower Is Running Continuously

If the blower is constantly running, that could indicate two problems: an issue with the limit switch or the room thermostat. Check whether the thermostat is set to “on.” If it’s set to “on,” switch it to “off” or “auto.” You may also need to adjust the limit switch.

Refer to your system’s manual to adjust the limit switch, or if you need heating repairs, call Whipple Service Champions.

5. The Furnace Won’t Turn On

One of the worst scenarios with your furnace is when it refuses to turn on, which can be caused by several issues. If the fuel supply is interrupted or the condensate reservoir is full, your system won’t turn on, resulting in lower efficiency.

If your system is struggling or failing to turn on, do not try to repeatedly start your system.

6. Dirty Ductwork

Are you noticing your heater isn’t heating the house as well as it used to? Check your airflow by placing your hand in front of the heating vents. If the airflow is weak, it could be a sign that dust and debris are clogging your ducts, and they need a thorough cleaning.

Signing up for routine heating maintenance is a simple and affordable way to keep your ductwork clean and in prime condition.

7. Gas Leaks/Odors

When you first turn on your furnace at the beginning of the season, it’s normal to notice a burning smell as the dust in your furnace burns off. This smell dissipates within an hour or so. However, if the strange smell doesn’t go away and smells of gas or metal, your furnace needs immediate attention.

Turn off your gas valve and call for help. Open your windows and doors and evacuate your house if you can. Mold and mildew are other smells that need professional attention.

8. The Furnace Is Blowing Cold Air

If your furnace is blowing plenty of air, but it’s not warm, it could be a sign that your heat exchanger needs to be replaced. The heat exchanger is a coil of heated tubes that warms the air before it’s pushed into your house. The heat exchanger is the source of all the heat, so it needs to be maintained with routine cleanings and checkups.

Fortunately, the heat exchanger can easily be replaced by our technicians. Though it’s a more costly repair, it’s much cheaper than replacing your entire furnace.

9. A Damaged Blower Belt

Is your heater working, but you’re noticing higher-than-normal energy bills? This could indicate that the belt from your blower fan is damaged and not operating at peak efficiency. Sometimes, the blower belt can slip, which is an easy fix by our technician, who simply puts it back in place.

However, the blower belt can also suffer from normal wear and tear and need to be replaced. You may notice a high-pitched squealing sound from your heater if it breaks. (If you notice a scraping sound, it could indicate that your blower bearings are damaged or installed incorrectly.) Our technicians can identify the problem and fix it in a timely, cost-effective manner.

10. A Tripped Circuit Breaker

Sometimes, a temporary power surge can trip your circuit breaker, and simply resetting the breaker can restore your furnace to working order. However, if your circuit breaker is tripping all the time, your furnace needs immediate electrical maintenance.

Ideally, your furnace should be powered as an isolated unit and not share a circuit with other equipment. Our heating technicians are experts at administering optimal furnace installation/maintenance and repair practices.

Whether you have issues with your furnace blowing cold air, running non-stop, or not running at all, the professionals at Whipple Service Champions are here to help. Call our team for any heating, plumbing, electrical, or drain issues this winter.

Contact us online to schedule service today.