Furnace Troubleshooting Tips
Every year, homeowners across Ontario start up their furnaces for the cold winter season, only to find that they’re not working. Throughout the winter season, you may run into this problem, but before you call your HVAC technician, there are a couple of things you can do for furnace troubleshooting.
1. Check the Thermostat
The thermostat tells your furnace what to do, so the first thing you should do if your furnace stops working is to make sure the thermostat is on and set to the right settings. Most importantly, your furnace should be set to the “Heat” setting. Whether you’re dusting or someone else in your home has changed the setting, the toggle is easily moved. After you turn on the furnace to “Heat,” wait a couple of seconds and you should hear the furnace and fan turn on.
2. Check Your Filters
One of the main culprits of furnace problems, whether it’s not blowing enough air or you’re experiencing higher-than-normal energy bills, is furnace filters. If you own a new, high-efficiency furnace, it probably has a setting that will cause the unit to shut down when the filters are particularly dirty. This prevents the filters from causing even more problems for your furnace. Check your filters and, depending on the type, either clean or replace them regularly.
3. Check for Power
Even if your house has power, your furnace might not be receiving it if it’s not working. First, make sure your thermostat has power, and replace the batteries if necessary. Then, test your furnace’s power by turning the “Fan” switch to “On.” If the fan comes on, you’ll know you have power.
4. Find the Circuit Breaker
If your furnace doesn’t come on when you test the “Fan” switch on the thermostat, go to your home’s breaker panel. Most of your circuit breaker should be labelled, so if you know which one controls the furnace, make sure it’s flipped to “On.” It shouldn’t be on the “Off” mode or even in the middle. If it’s in the middle, flip it all the way to the “Off” position and all the way on again to get power going to your furnace.
5. Turn On the Power Switch
Your furnace has another switch, which looks like a regular light switch, and is located in your furnace room. Especially around the holidays, when you have guests milling around the house switching lights on and off, it’s not unusual for this switch to get turned off accidentally. Check the furnace switch and make sure it’s on the “On” position.
6. Check the Gas Valve
The last thing to check before calling your HVAC technician is your furnace’s gas valve. If you’ve tried everything else with no luck, check that the gas valve leading to your furnace hasn’t inadvertently been turned off. Gas furnaces will have this within six feet of the furnace unit. You can also make sure the gas line to your home is working by checking any of the other gas appliances in your home.
At Bryan’s Fuel, we can help with all of your furnace maintenance and emergency service needs!