How to Troubleshoot Your Furnace

A broken furnace in the dead of winter is cause for serious concern. Not only does it leave you without heat, but furnaces can also be expensive to replace or service. Before you call a qualified technician, take the following steps to troubleshoot your furnace. The problem may be simpler to fix than you fear.

First, verify that your thermostat is operating correctly. Set the thermostat five degrees higher than the room temperature to see if that causes the unit to turn on, allowing the system a few minutes to register and respond to the change.

While you’re waiting, check your furnace filter. If you haven’t changed it in a while, the problem could be simply that it is too clogged or dirty for the furnace to pull air through. Filters should be replaced about once a month during the winter. Replace or clean it if it’s been much longer than that.

If your furnace still isn’t responding, move on to the circuit breaker. Most furnaces are connected to a dedicated circuit breaker, which can be tripped by a power surge or outage. Turn the circuit breaker off and then on again to determine whether it’s functioning.

Furnaces powered by fuses can also be blown by a power outage or surge. Turn off your service panel and remove the fuse to inspect it for burns or breaks. Replace if broken.

Finally, the furnace motor itself could also be at fault. It’s possible for a furnace motor to become overloaded and shut down. Power the unit off and let it rest for 30 minutes before turning it back on and pressing the reset button.

If after you’ve tried troubleshooting all these potential causes your furnace still isn’t functioning, it’s time to get professional help. Call Bonfe to set up an inspection.

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