6 Most Common Furnace Problems (Solutions)
With winter right around the bend, furnaces are booting up again, preparing to provide warmth and comfort to your home. While you’ve probably come to expect your furnace to operate without issue, there are a number of problems that can keep your heat from working as it should.
This article will cover some of the most common furnace problems and offer you solutions. With this information in mind, you’ll face the incoming cold weather prepared for anything that might keep your home from warming up.
If your furnace has been acting up, troubleshooting with this list may make your repair quicker, cheaper, and easier. Likewise, even if your furnace is working fine, you may want to look into the common problems that plague furnaces to prevent any issues in the future.
Furnace Problems Troubleshooting
One of the most common problems that occur in furnaces is also one of the simplest. Dirty filters can clog up the airflow in your furnace, leading to problems distributing warm air throughout your home. They can also lead to higher energy bills and more allergens in the air.
Luckily any issue with a filter is a quick and easy fix. Simply open up your furnace, find the filter, and order a replacement for it. Once that’s done, take out the old filter, clean the area of dust, and insert the new one.
You should replace your air filter regularly, even if the furnace isn’t having problems. How frequently depends on the filter your furnace uses, but they should typically be replaced at least every six months.
Also Read: Run Furnace without filter
Pilot Light Problems
Another common issue with furnaces, pilot light problems can be a big problem when it comes to keeping your home warm. If the pilot light on your furnace is out, flickering, or is an unusual and suspicious color, you may need to look into it further to fix the issue.
A strangely colored or flickering pilot light can indicate excessive carbon monoxide in your furnace. For this reason, it is crucial that you get your pilot light fixed.
The first step in fixing your pilot light is to turn off the gas for three minutes. Once the time has passed, turn gas to the “pilot light” setting and hold a match to it. If it relights normally, you’ve solved the problem. If not, you should call a professional to fix the problem as soon as possible.
If you set your thermostat and the heat simply doesn’t come on, or if it fails to reach the temperature you set, you may have an issue with the thermostat itself. The issue can lie in a few places.
The thermostat may have a bad battery, loose connections, or just be excessively dirty.
To fix the thermostat yourself, start by opening it up. Once inside, test the battery to see if it needs to be replaced. If the battery is good, look at the wires. If any of them are loose, tighten or replace them. Finally, clean out all the dust from the thermostat.
Heat Exchanger is Cracked
If your furnace isn’t getting enough heat pumped into your house, the issue may be a cracked heat exchanger. The heat exchanger can leak fumes into your house, making the furnace-less powerful and potentially leading to a buildup of carbon monoxide.
To fix the heat exchanger, the first step is to properly evaluate the situation. If your heat exchanger looks warped or has any visible cracks or holes, you’ve identified the problem. You’ll need to call in a professional, as replacing a heat exchanger can be very risky due to carbon monoxide leaks.
Checking your heat exchanger regularly is a very good idea. Carbon monoxide leaks can be deadly, so identifying any wear on the heat exchanger before it starts to leak is hugely beneficial.
If your furnace isn’t blowing out hot air, that doesn’t always mean it isn’t getting warm. It may be that the heat just isn’t getting blown out. One of the most common causes of this lack of venting is a problem with the blower belt.
If your blower belt isn’t working, check to see if it has any frays or if it has slipped off track.
If it has, turns off the circuit breaker to your furnace and grab the belt for further examination. If the belt is still intact, simply slip it back on the motor. If not, you’ll have to order a replacement belt.
The belt should give about half an inch when pulled. If it is either too loose or too tight, adjust the motor mounting bolts.
Your furnace motor is fastened in place by ball bearings. When these bearings become overly worn, the motor can become loose and insecure, leading to a host of problems with your heat.
Fortunately, replacing the ball bearings in your furnace is a straightforward process. All you need to do is open up the furnace panel and pull out the old bearings with a wrench. Screw in the new ball bearings and seal the furnace up again and you should be set.
What is the average life expectancy of a furnace?
The average furnace can be expected to last between 15 and 20 years. The exact number will depend on how well the furnace is initially installed and how well it is maintained. It is important to properly clean the furnace, replace filters, and do general diagnostics to make the most of its lifespan.
What is the average cost to replace a furnace?
Replacing a furnace can vary in price by quite a bit. For cheaper units, you can expect to pay around $1,500 for the replacement. For more expensive units, that price can jump to as high as $6,500.
This price is largely dictated by the efficiency of the furnace, with higher-efficiency models costing more. More efficient models save the owner money in the long run by reducing the energy needed to heat the home.
How do you reset a furnace?
Resetting your furnace is a very straightforward process. Most furnaces have a reset button built-in.
To start, you’ll need to turn off the circuit breaker that feeds into the furnace. Once that is done, locate the reset button and press it in. Replace any panels you may have moved in order to access the furnace and turn the circuit back on.