The classic “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” may work for amenities like the dishwasher, but when it comes to your heating system on the first cold day of the year, the last thing you want is to call in an emergency furnace repair. However, we all run into maintenance issues that can result in a quick fix, a call to your local heating repair service or parting ways with a run-down machine to purchase a new furnace.
Don’t jump to conclusions and start panicking about the cost of a whole new heating system! These are the 6 most common home furnace problems, what you can do to fix them and when you need to call in for a furnace repair.
#1 Broken Or Malfunctioning Thermostat
We hate to even say it – but did you check to ensure that the thermostat is on? This is a common oversight and the first place to start when investigating the possibility of needing a new furnace. If the screen is completely blank, your first step is to check the circuit breaker. If you noticed the switch is flipped to “off,” move it over to “on” to see if that does the trick as it could have been as simple as a blown fuse.
Your next step on the thermostat is to check the battery level. If it’s low, this could result in a faulty connection that is supposed to tell the furnace when it’s time to turn on. If the battery has been recently changed, make sure it’s set to heat, the current room temperature isn’t higher than the one you’ve set it to on the thermostat, and the fan setting isn’t set to “on.” Check around the home to ensure all the vents and registers are open.
If none of that works, you’ll need to call for a furnace tune up or potential repair to get to the root of the problem.
#2 Furnace Is Making Funny Noise
If you’re worried about your furnace making a funny noise, you have to trust your gut instinct. They’re not supposed to be noisy! Other than the classic “on and off” mixed with the fan’s blowing, you definitely shouldn’t hear rattling, squeaking, grinding, scraping or rumbling.
Unless you can immediately diagnose the furnace repair problem, you’re best to turn off the unit and call in a Calgary HVAC professional. Although it could be as simple as a clogged burner or airflow reduction, it could also be a complicated mechanical problem, or your ball bearings have worn out.
#3 Furnace Keeps Turning On and Off
You’re used to the typical start-up sounds of the furnace, indicating it’s running smoothly and pumping heat throughout the home. Have you suddenly become suspicious it’s happening a lot more often than it used to? If you’re noticing the furnace turning on and off frequently and struggling to reach the desired temperature, that’s your red flag that something is wrong.
One of the common reasons is the safety switch that shuts down the furnace if the temperature is too hot. This could be due to a clogged air filter that causes it to overheat from restricted airflow, which engages the safety switch. Before calling a professional or considering a new furnace, check and repair the air filter. If that doesn’t solve the problem, a licensed HVAC technician will diagnose the issue before proceeding with a furnace repair.
#4 Furnace Isn’t Turning On
There could be a few reasons why your furnace isn’t turning on. Anywhere from the simple “oops” of realizing that the temperature in the room is warmer than the temperature you set it for to a more significant mechanical issue that could result in an emergency furnace repair because of a fire hazard.
A couple of common reasons that this happens are:
- Clogged or dirty air filters.
- Pilot light problems or faulty ignition.
- Lack of fuel.
Troubleshooting Your Furnace Steps
Before calling in for a furnace repair, here are some troubleshooting steps you can go through.
- Check the thermostat and follow the steps mentioned earlier to ensure it’s working.
- Double-check that the furnace is plugged in. You never know if a pet or child accidentally unplugged it running by.
- Check the circuit breaker to ensure the switch is turned “on.”
If none of this works and you’ve had your regular furnace tune up, there could be some cause for concern. Call a professional technician to diagnose the problem and get your furnace working again during Calgary’s cold winter months.
#5 Dirty Filters
When was the last time you changed your furnace filter? If you’re hesitating on the answer, probably not soon enough. The best rule of thumb is once a month, especially for larger families or anyone with pets. This is because dirty air filters are the source of many furnace problems that can eventually lead to an emergency furnace repair call at the most inconvenient time. Ignoring this monthly maintenance tip can result in restricted airflow, causing your furnace to work harder and potentially lead to overheating, which engages your furnace’s safety shut down switch.
#6 Wear and Tear
The most common reasons for either a furnace repair or even a new furnace are wear and tear. They’re not meant to last forever! Although if you take care of them, they can last up to 25 years or more. While the lifespan varies depending on your furnace type, you’ll want to do a yearly inspection to see if your furnace is running efficiently. An annual maintenance call to your local HVAC expert is the ultimate prevention strategy for avoiding inconvenient breakdowns that you aren’t prepared for. Yearly furnace tune up services can help you avoid an expensive repair during the busiest time of the year for Calgary – the winter months.
If you’ve run into one of the common home furnace problems and tried all of our troubleshooting recommendations, it may be time to call one of our licensed technicians that are available in Calgary and surrounding areas 24/7 at Plumbing Paramedics. If you need an expert for a scheduled maintenance service or emergency furnace repair, call us at (403) 879-7213 or email us to book an appointment.
Have you already done your furnace maintenance for this upcoming winter? Do you have any suggestions for other homeowners? Any questions we could answer? Feel free to add your comments below to help other readers!