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Here’s How to Troubleshoot Common Furnace Problems

December 15, 2015 | Blog

Here’s How to Troubleshoot Common Furnace ProblemsWith cooler nights and the heating months right around the corner, you may experience furnace problems when you first start your system. While fall professional furnace maintenance is suggested for efficient and safe operation, there may be problems that arise which you can troubleshoot yourself.

Turn on the Heat!

Check your thermostat setting one more time. Make sure “heat” mode is activated. If you have installed a new thermostat during the cooling months, take another look at the wiring schematic to make sure they are connected to the right terminals.

Ignition Problems

Unless your furnace is very old, it probably uses an electronic spark ignition or a hot-surface ignitor to ignite the gas. These devices are typically good for three or four years. Keeping a spare on hand can save you a service call or special ordering the device from your home store.

If your furnace does have a standing pilot that won’t stay lit, it may be dirty or you may have a faulty thermocouple. There may also be a draft that keeps blowing it out.

Unusual Odors

Foul odors from your air vents isn’t pleasant at all. The source of unusual odors could be from your furnace, air ducts or both. It’s common for a furnace to emit a burning smell the first few times it starts for the season. Though, if it continues, call your HVAC service provider.

Other odors may be caused by moldy ducts, which is common in the humid region of South Texas, or animal waste or decomposition. In either case, your ductwork needs to be professionally cleaned or even replaced if mold infestation is too great.

Unusual Noises

Furnaces have moving parts and make noise like any other machine. Noises may also emanate from the air ducts due to airflow noises caused by incorrectly sized ducts or duct obstructions, as indicated by loud “whooshing” sounds.

Grinding noises are indicative of a failing blower motor. Turn off the furnace and call your HVAC professional right away.

If you’re still having furnace problems, contact CCAC for expert help. We’ve served South Texas residents since 1979!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace problems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Nenov Brothers Images/Shutterstock”

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