10 Most Common Types of Furnace Problems

  • Simon Archer
  • September 25, 2018
  • 0

Now that the cool fall air is coming, more households will be turning off their air conditioners and turning on their furnaces. This is a common time to realize that your furnace isn’t working as optimally as it should—or it might not work at all. What might be going on? You might be dealing with one of these common furnace problems.

1. Dirty Air Channels

Does it appear your furnace is working harder to push air flow throughout the home? This could be caused by dirty, grimy, or stopped up air channels that are diminishing the wind stream. If an air channel is obstructed, it may also damage the breaking point switch that controls the fan.

2. Pilot Control or Electric Start Problems

Gas furnaces can function with either an electronic control or a pilot light. Obstructions, clogs, or drafts in the furnace, as well as thermocouple issues, can cause the pilot light to go dark, while a defective start can make it difficult for the furnace to heat your home. If your heating element looks damaged or cracked, you will be required to replace the igniter.

3. Safety Switch

If your furnace won’t turn on, check the safety switch on the door. This switch prevents the burner and fan from coming on when the door is removed. Put the door in place and activate the switch to make the furnace start working.

4. Contaminated Burner Flames

If your burner flames are blue and even, they’re clean. However, if they’re yellow, it indicates that they are likely dirty, which can lead to burner failure. If this is the source of your issue, all you need to do is clean your burners with a vacuum, ensuring the gas and power are turned off first.

5. Bad Limit Switch

If your blower is running continuously and your furnace isn’t firing, you may have a problem with your limit switch. A tripped limit switch will cause the heating element to show off, but the blower will keep working until the switch is closed or the system is reset. Check your circuit to see if it’s open, which indicates that the limit switch has gone bad. If this is the case, it’ll need to be replaced.

6. No Air Blowing

If your blower isn’t running, look at your furnace’s inspection window to ensure the blower is clean and clear of debris and contamination. In addition, you should see either a flashing green or red light. A red light indicates you require a service call due to problems with your run capacitor, finance control board, thermostat, blower motor, or transformer.

7. Unusual Sounds

Your furnace shouldn’t make any unusual noises that cause you concern, such as rattling, rumbling, or squeaking. If this is occurring, you may have a mechanical problem, a belt problem, a motor bearing issue, a clogged burner, or a reduction of airflow. You may also have an improperly adjusted pilot light or blower motor lubrication ports in need of oiling.

8. A Dirty Flame Sensor

This sensor is an important safety feature on your gas furnace. It helps prevent the unsafe burning of fuel; however, a dirty flame sensor could cause your furnace to work sub optimally due to carbon buildup or oxidation restricting the sensor’s ability to work properly.

9. Gas Line

If your furnace isn’t turning on to heat your home, follow the gas line to determine if it’s closed or the switch has been turned off.

10. Age

Although furnaces are built to last, no equipment will last forever. Excess age is a common problem that may be leading to poor heating productivity.

Annual furnace repair, assessments and upkeep can help you prevent many of these common issues.

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