If you’re a homeowner dealing with furnace trouble, you may be tempted to call a professional repair service right away. However, taking the time to understand the basics of furnace repair and maintenance can save you time and money in the long run. This guide will provide essential information on DIY furnace repairs, as well as advice for when it’s best to seek help from an HVAC specialist.
Understanding Furnace Components:
Knowing how your furnace works is key to identifying potential problems—and fixing them yourself if possible. The most important components of your furnace include the thermocouple or flame sensor, flame rod, blower motor, heat exchanger, gas valve, and pilot light assembly. If one of these components is malfunctioning, it can lead to a variety of furnace issues.
Detecting Common Furnace Issues:
- Furnace Won’t Turn On: Before you can fix this issue, you need to identify the cause. Check your thermostat settings and make sure it’s set to “heat” or “auto,” not “off.” If that doesn’t work, check the circuit breaker panel for a tripped fuse or flipped switch. Finally, check the pilot light assembly—if it has gone out, try relighting it following manufacturer instructions.
- Pilot Light Won’t Stay Lit: This is usually caused by a faulty thermocouple or flame sensor that needs to be replaced. You should also clean any dust from the pilot light opening and check for a gas leak. If you don’t feel comfortable doing these repairs yourself, contact a professional furnace repair in Peoria, AZ.
- Furnace Blows Cold Air: This could be caused by a few different issues, such as an obstructed air filter or blower motor malfunction. Check and replace your air filter if necessary and make sure the blower motor is working properly. It’s also possible that your furnace has lost its prime—in this case, you should call in an HVAC specialist to re-prime it.
- Furnace Makes Strange Noises: Rattling sounds from within the unit can mean that parts have become loose or broken over time and need to be replaced before they cause further damage. A vibrating sound could also be caused by an unbalanced or overfilled blower wheel, which should be inspected and serviced as soon as possible by a professional HVAC technician.
- Furnace Continuously Cycles On and Off: This could mean that your thermostat is set to a temperature higher than the one your furnace can reach. It’s best to adjust the desired temperature to something more reasonable and wait for the furnace to properly cycle through its heating cycle before trying again. You may also want to consider replacing the thermostat if it’s outdated or malfunctioning.
- Pilot Light Flame Is Too High: If your pilot light flame is excessively high, it likely means the gas valve is set to “high” instead of “low.” To fix this issue, turn off the furnace and locate the gas shut-off valve (usually near the furnace). Turn it clockwise to “off” and wait at least five minutes before turning it back on. Then adjust the flame following manufacturer instructions.
- Furnace Is Blowing a Bad Smell: This indicates an issue with your heating system—it could be dust or debris in the burners or a sign that your heat exchanger has cracked and needs to be replaced. In either case, you should call in an HVAC technician who can inspect and repair your system safely and properly.
- Furnace Blows Excessively Hot Air: This could be caused by a few different things, such as a blower motor malfunction or an obstructed air filter. If the issue persists after you’ve replaced the filter, it’s best to call in an HVAC specialist who can inspect and diagnose the problem.
- Flame Is Yellow Instead of Blue: When your furnace is running properly, you should see a strong blue flame—a yellow flame indicates there’s not enough oxygen getting to the burners and this could lead to further problems unless addressed immediately. To fix this issue, check that your air intakes are clear of debris or blockages and if necessary, contact a professional HVAC technician who can diagnose and repair the issue.
The above are just some of the most common furnace repair problems that homeowners may encounter—but they’re not the only ones. It’s important to have a trusted HVAC contractor on call in case you come across an issue that needs special attention or expertise. In addition to fixing any problems you may have, they can also provide regular system maintenance to help keep your furnace running at peak efficiency and avoid costly repairs in the future.
If you ever need help with the repair or maintenance of your furnace or heat pumps in Peoria, AZ, don’t hesitate to call an experienced HVAC contractor today. Contact Five Star Air at (623) 244-0414 to learn more or book an appointment!