As the temperature drops and winter sets in, a malfunctioning furnace can quickly turn your home into an icy discomfort zone. Before panic sets in though, there are a few do-it-yourself troubleshooting steps you can take to get your furnace back on track. However, it’s crucial to remember that if at any point you feel uneasy or encounter a gas-related issue, it’s best to call in the professionals.
Let’s dive into some practical tips to troubleshoot your furnace and keep the warmth flowing.
Check Your Thermostat
Starting with the basics, ensure that your thermostat is set to ‘heat.’ It may sound simple, but overlooking this common step is surprisingly common. Double-check the settings and make sure your thermostat is programmed correctly. If it’s not set to ‘heat,’ adjust it and give your furnace a chance to do its job.
Take a Quick Look at the Furnace Switch
Furnaces usually have a switch with two positions: Auto and On. Sometimes, this switch is mistaken for a light switch due to its resemblance. Make sure the switch is in the ‘On’ position, and briefly switch it to ensure the furnace is receiving electricity. If the furnace turns on, electricity isn’t the issue. If not, it might be time to seek professional help.
Pilot Light Problems
For older furnaces with pilot lights (those less than 20 years old), check if the pilot light is still lit. If it has gone out, consult your owner’s manual for relighting instructions. If your furnace doesn’t have a pilot light, you can skip this step and move on to other troubleshooting measures.
Change Your Filter
Neglecting your furnace filter is a common pitfall. A clogged filter restricts airflow, causing heat buildup and potential issues. Regularly changing your filter ensures clean air circulation and prevents problems. Even if the filter appears clean, consider replacing it, as modern furnaces may shut down before the filter becomes visibly dirty.
A pro tip: Schedule a professional tune-up for your furnace at least once a year. This ensures optimal efficiency, reduces costs, and addresses potential issues before they become major problems.
When to Call a Professional
While these DIY steps can resolve many furnace issues, there are instances where professional help is necessary:
Discomfort or Uncertainty: If any step makes you uncomfortable or you’re unsure about proceeding, it’s safer to leave it to the experts.
Gas Problems or Fire: If you detect any issues related to gas or fire, such as a gas smell or visible flames, immediately evacuate your home and call a professional. Gas-related issues are serious and require prompt attention.
By following these simple troubleshooting steps, you can often identify and resolve common furnace problems. Regular maintenance and professional tune-ups will keep your furnace running efficiently, ensuring a cozy and warm home during the chilly winter months.
Remember, when in doubt or faced with a potentially hazardous situation, it’s best to seek professional assistance promptly. Stay warm and comfortable, and talk to the experts at Ashton today.