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Troubleshoot Furnace Problems, Then Call an HVAC Expert

If your furnace malfunctions, your immediate priority is to get the system working and heat flowing again. The following tips will help you troubleshoot furnace problems before calling for emergency service. If these steps are ineffective, contact your trusted local HVAC company to repair the current issue and give your heating system a preventive maintenance inspection to help keep other problems from developing in the future.

  • Make sure the furnace is switched on and that the unit is receiving power.
  • If the furnace has a pilot light, make sure it’s lit and that the burners are working.
  • Check fuel supplies to make sure the furnace is receiving fuel from the utility connection or that you have enough fuel in the storage tank.
  • Check the thermostat to make sure the temperature settings are above the current temperature of the room. Increase the thermostat settings a few degrees to see if that causes the furnace to start.
  • If your thermostat is a programmable model, make sure it’s working correctly and that it has fresh batteries.
  • Check to see if the thermostat is properly set to provide heat. A simple error in settings or a wrong button pushed could turn off the furnace’s heat functions.
  • See if the furnace’s circuit breaker has been tripped at your home’s main breaker panel. A power surge or other problem could have tripped the circuit breaker and shut off the unit. Reset the breakers and try to turn on the furnace again. If the breakers continue to trip, call for service.
  • Make sure supply and return vents aren’t blocked by boxes, furniture or other items. Restrictions in airflow can lead to furnace breakdowns.
  • Check the furnace’s air filter to see if it’s dirty or clogged. Dirty filters can cause furnace malfunctions and breakdowns. Change the filter if needed.

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