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How to Troubleshoot Gas Furnace Problems Before Calling a Pro

November 26, 2014

Climate control

Furnace problems in winter is the last thing you want to deal with, especially in light of the upcoming holidays. But if disaster strikes, there is no need to panic, as Maryland HVAC repair is one of our specialties at Cool Breeze. Whether your furnace stopped working completely or won’t follow the temperature settings, feel free to call us right away. But there are also a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue in the meantime—it could be an easy fix!

Furnace or Thermostat?

Furnace problems can be tricky, because there are two key components involved in the heating system: a furnace and a thermostat. When neither of them is showing obvious signs of distress, such as odd noises or blinking lights, it may be hard to trace the issue back to its source. Calling both manufacturers is in many cases useless because the thermostat people will tell you it’s a furnace issue and vice versa. But there are a few things you can do to rule out one of the components.

Check Thermostat Batteries

It might seem obvious, yet many people forget to do it. Try a different set of batteries and see if it makes a difference.

Look Around

Ideally, a thermostat should be located in a neutral spot where the average temperature represents the average temperature throughout the house. If a heat source or a cold draft is near the thermostat, it might get wrong temperature readings and send wrong signals to the furnace. Check if anything has changed recently—maybe you placed a new space heater near the thermostat and it’s messing with the temperature sensors?

Check the Settings

There is always a possibility that someone clicked a button without knowing what they were doing. Or maybe a power outage caused your settings to reset. Some thermostats also have an adjustable span, typically between one and three degrees. For example, a temperature setting of 71°F with a span of 3 degrees means that the heat will turn on at 68°F and will shut down at 74°F. So if your furnace is cycling more frequently or less frequently than usual, this could be a span issue.

Check the Power Supply

It’s possible that a fuse or a circuit breaker responsible for sending power to the furnace is blown or tripped. This is an easy check and an easy fix as long as you know your way around the electrical panel.

What if it’s the Furnace?

If none of the above troubleshooting steps worked, it’s possible that the problem is with your furnace or with shortened thermostat wiring. Either way, at this point it’s better to call a professional Maryland furnace repair contractor to investigate. Some common furnace problems include:

  • Stuck relay switch that fails to transfer command from the thermostat.
  • No gas supply to the burner, often due to a failed thermocouple.
  • Pilot light is out or the ignition system doesn’t work.
  • Clogged air filter engaging the overheating protection switch.

Aside from these common issues, it’s possible that your furnace is not well-paired with your thermostat. You see, not all thermostats work with all furnaces and you have to be careful when upgrading either one of these components. A mismatched thermostat may cause damage to the furnace, lead to unpredictable furnace behavior or simply not work at all. So, if you’ve recently done a DIY thermostat upgrade, it’s possible you’ve got a wrong one or installed it incorrectly.

No matter what the cause of your home heating troubles, you can always rely on Cool Breeze to come to the rescue! Give us a call at 1(866) 503-4888 for residential heating repair.

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