Why your furnace fails
Furnaces are essential in the Midwest – and when they don’t operate properly, it truly is a moment of panic. How can you get the furnace fixed before everyone freezes in your house? There are typical reasons why a furnace suddenly fails, and sometimes, they can be fixed by the homeowner. Other times it’s best to call in the HVAC experts. Here are a few guidelines in case you find yourself without heat.
Often times the problem isn’t the furnace itself, but the connection is somehow not working between the thermostat and the furnace. Check to see if the battery needs replacing or the unit needs cleaning. Sometimes the thermostat simply malfunctions because it’s time for a replacement (and upgrade). Many homeowners can replace a thermostat on their own.
The igniter lights the furnace automatically when the thermostat tells it to come on. If you suspect it isn’t working properly, try resetting it by turning the power switch off and on again. If that doesn’t kick it into gear, turn it off again and check for cracks. If you have a crack in your igniter, it’ll need replacing and you’re best off leaving that up to a professional. If it doesn’t, sometimes it’s just dirty. If it still doesn’t work, it might be simply too old and just has run its course and it’s time for a new one.
Blower motor isn’t blowing
This part of the furnace does the important task of blowing warm air into your home. It often has a separate plug-in from the furnace, so check to see it’s properly plugged in. You can also turn the blower off and on again in hopes to reset it. If doing this and turning your thermostat to the ‘fan on’ mode doesn’t start things up, it’s time to call in the experts.
Problems with the heat exchanger usually occur to air flow issues. And sometimes that is caused by owner error – because we neglect to take care of the filters! You can prevent related problems by changing your filters regularly and having an HVAC professional routinely check your furnace to make sure things are operating in an efficient manner. When heat exchangers die, they require professional technicians for repair or replacement.
The bottom line is, a decent furnace has a life expectancy of 15-20 years. You can maximize the life of your furnace with proper maintenance and repair. But when something goes wrong, you now know how to check a few vital components, attempt some simple troubleshooting, and then if need be, recognize when it’s time to bring in the experts.
For home maintenance and comfort tips, visit StayComfyMinnesota.com! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.