A gas furnace is an essential element in the home's comfort level. During colder seasons, they warm and also transport heat all through your home and push cooled air from the central air conditioning unit during the heat of summer. However, what most individuals don’t realize is the fact that just like other appliances, the furnace also requires regular care so as to last longer and perform at its highest level.
A furnace can be a bit intimidating especially when it is not working. However, there’s good news for the homeowners. Approximately a quarter of all the service calls can be avoided by using easy fixes that cost less or nothing at all. This article focuses on all the common culprits while still showing you what to do about them. Is your heater not working? Here are 8 simple furnace fixes:
furnace not working
Solution 1: Check the thermostat to ensure it's on
Before you assume that your heater not working, you should check the thermostat to ensure that it’s actually on. Thermostats, particularly programmable ones, could be complicated and the more options the thermostat has then the more it can go wrong. To ensure that the thermostat is on:
· Make sure that the switch is on “Heat” instead of on “Cool.”
· Check the temperature settings.
· Compare the temperature settings to that of the room temperature. You should set the temperature 5 degrees higher than that of the room temperature and then see if your furnace kicks on.
· Make sure that the program is displaying the right time and day, as well as p.m. and a.m. settings.
· Trace all the thermostat wires backwards to the furnace so as to check for any breaks, especially if you have done any form of remodeling recently. If you get a break in one of the wires, you should splice the line together and then wrap it using an electrical tape.
· Replace the battery. In case you have a power outage when using a dead battery, you will lose all your settings and your thermostat shall revert to the default programs.
· Open the thermostat and then gently blow out dust or debris. Ensure it is level and attached firmly on the wall.
· If you cannot make the program settings to work, you can just bypass them altogether. Just punch in the temperature that you want with the up and down control and press the hold button. This will switch on your furnace in case thermostat programming is the main problem.
Solution 2: Check the shutoff switches as well as breakers
It sounds unbelievable yet furnace technicians mostly find out that the only repair that a furnace requires is turning it on. If your heater not working, look for the standard wall switch near or on the furnace—all furnaces, regardless of what type or age, have one wall switch somewhere. You should then check the fuse or circuit breaker for the furnace. Make sure that the front panel that covers the blower motor is fastened securely.
Solution 3: Change the filters
Dirty filters are one of the most common causes of furnace problems. Dirt and dust restrict airflow and in case the filter gets clogged, the heat exchanger shall overheat and then shut off quickly thus your house will not warm up. In case the blower is running yet no heat comes out, you should replace the filter. Dirty filters also cause soot buildup on heat exchangers which reduces the efficiency of the furnace while also shortening its life.
The owner's manual usually shows where the furnace filter is and how it can be removed. Change inexpensive filters at least once every month. Ensure that the arrow points towards the furnace. Inspect the pleated filters once every month.
You should hold them up towards the light and if you cannot see the light clearly through them, they should be replaced. Manufacturers say that pleated filters are usually good for 3 months. However, in case heater not working, you should change them more frequently in case you have kids, pets or when they generate a lot of dust.
Solution 4: Ensure the gas is on
Just as it is the case with switches, someone might have turned off the gas valve and then forgot to turn it back on. When the heater not working, you should trace the gas line backwards from the furnace towards the meter and in case you see a handle that is perpendicular to a gas pipe, turn it so that it's parallel. In case you have an old boiler or furnace, you may have the pilot light. Remove its front panel as well as the burner cover and then check to ensure it's lit.
heater not working
Solution 5: Ensure the chimney exhaust flue is very clear
Drawn in by the warmth, birds might sometimes fall in the chimney exhaust flue. In case the heater not working, you should turn it off and the thermostat down, and then dismantle the furnace duct where it exits to check for debris. Ensure that you reassemble these sections in the same direction and order that you took them out.
Solution 6: Flush out the drain lines
High-efficiency furnaces might drain off many gallons of water in a day during the heating season. In case the drain lines become restricted by mold growth or sediments, the furnace shall shut down. Also, if the drain hose appears dirty, you should remove the hose and then fill it with a mixture of water and bleach (25% bleach) before flushing it after several minutes.
Solution 7: Look out for leaky or blocked ducts which can restrict airflow
If the furnace comes on yet 1 or 2 rooms are cold, first ensure all the room registers are open. You should then examine any ductwork that you can access and look out for gaps in between sections or the branching points. Seal the gaps between sections of duct using special metal duct tapes. Do not use standard cloth duct tapes because they deteriorate quickly and it might also cause the ducts to leak when used to seal the sections.
If the heater not working, also check for handles that protrude from the ductwork. These are air conditioner bypasses or dampers and you should ensure they are open.
Solution 8: Clean away debris and leaves from heat pumps and exhaust vents
In case you have a furnace that usually vents out the side of your house, make sure that nothing is blocking the exhaust or intake. If one of the pipes is covered with screen mesh (such as window screen), you should replace it with a mesh hardware cloth. In the event ice is clogging either of the pipes, you’ll have a relatively bigger problem somewhere within the system. Clear off the ice and call a technician so as to find out why it is happening.
In case you have a heat pump, you should clear away leaves and grass from the fins of your outdoor compressor unit. Before the heating season starts, you have to hose it down gradually from the top so as to rinse debris and dirt out of the housing. In conclusion, if your heater not working, you should not worry because these 8 simple fixes will help you to repair it without having to look out for technicians.
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