Common Home Furnace Problems

Common Home Furnace Problems

Furnaces experience breakdowns from age, humidity, extreme temperatures, and faulty thermostats. Contacting professional furnace repair specialists prevents the problem from escalating. Mr. Furnace provides heating and cooling repair services for all HVAC makes and models. Here are some of the most common home furnace problems and how to identify them:

Malfunctioning Thermostat 

A constantly running fan often indicates a defective thermostat. Furnaces become inefficient if the battery is constantly running, leading to further system issues from overuse. If the furnace isn’t running, check to see that the thermostat hasn’t accidentally been switched off or the batteries haven’t run out. Older thermostats may need to be replaced with a more efficient model. 

Clogged Filters 

Furnace filters prevent dirt, allergens, and other pollutants from circulating throughout the house. To prevent clogs, change the filter every few months depending on the size. A furnace that struggles to get the air through will become overworked and break down. Signs it’s time to change your filter include noticing increased dust in the home and around vents, decreased airflow, and a constantly running furnace.  

Pilot Light Issues 

The pilot light ignites the gas to turn on your furnace. It’s common for the pilot light to go out, but other issues can arise. Check that this small flame burns an even, bright blue color. If you notice it is flickering or has turned yellow, it could indicate excessive carbon monoxide and need a professional furnace repair company. 

Broken Limit Switch

When the furnace becomes too hot, the limit switch shuts down the burners and turns on a fan to cool the system. A faulty switch can damage your furnace and risk a fire. For this reason, many furnace systems will purposefully stop working without an operating limit switch. Mr. Furnace will replace the limit switch on any furnace make or model. 

Faulty Blower Components 

Trouble with the blower ball bearings, fan, belt, or capacitor affects the ability of the furnace to circulate warm air throughout the home. Signs of a blower issue include a loud squealing sound, a lack of hot air coming from the vents, or a furnace that stops halfway through the operation. The blower capacitor uses the circuit board for energy, and a trip in the breaker or short circuit could also be linked to a furnace malfunction. 

Cracked Heat Exchanger 

A heater exchanger is a coil of heated tubes that heats the air before it’s released into the home. While these tubes are made to withstand high amounts of heat, they can crack. If you notice that the air isn’t as warm as usual, the heat exchanger may be the culprit. 

Dirty Burners 

Burners need sufficient heat to release natural gas to create combustion. Dirty burners won’t produce heat and often have a loud, rumbling sound when trying to ignite. Blue flames indicate a healthy burner, whereas yellow or orange indicate debris is present. Attempting to clean burners yourself is dangerous and should be performed by a professional furnace repair technician. 

Gas Leaks

Some slight burning smells are expected from a furnace, particularly at the beginning of the season when built-up dust is burnt off. If these smells don’t disappear within an hour or have a gas smell, turn off the furnace immediately, open the windows, and leave the house until the system is examined. 

Moldy or metallic smells are also concerning and should be looked at. Any mold in your system can circulate throughout the home and spread allergens, affecting the health of any occupants in the home. 

Unusual Noises 

Ducts expand and shrink during furnace operation, resulting in occasional pinging sounds. Loud popping or rattling sounds might come from a loose metal flap that needs tightening so air doesn’t escape. Tightening the screws on vent grills is a simple task homeowners can complete by themselves. 

Booming sounds suggest a delayed ignition problem. A build-up of gas creates a small explosion whenever the furnace tries to light. While not an immediate problem, it should be examined by a technician. 

Preventing Furnace Problems

Change filters regularly, get annual tune-ups, and clean your vents to prevent furnace breakdowns. Check your furnace components for visible issues, such as the pilot light, blower, ductwork, and heat exchanger. With proper maintenance, a furnace can last many years without major issues. Thermostats have a smaller lifespan but are easy to replace. 

Finding Professional Furnace Repair Services

If you experience a furnace malfunction, find a furnace repair company that works with your system’s manufacturer. Some expected wear and tear is fixable by DIY, but if you experience serious issues like gas leaks, pilot light issues, or a cracked heat exchanger, contact a professional repair company. Mr. Furnace provides 24-hour emergency repair services for all furnace makes and models. Call us today to schedule an appointment, or submit a request online.