HVAC technicians encourage homeowners to have their systems checked when these are not in use. It gives them enough time to fix a problem without creating discomfort in the home. The last thing you want during winter is your heating mechanism conking out. If you’ve noticed that your house isn’t heating up, it might be because your heater isn’t working. Rather than wait and see how much worse it can get, you should find out what’s causing the problem.
Common Furnace Problems
There are several reasons your furnace is having performance issues. It can be because of damaged internal components or just a lack of proper maintenance. Learn about the common furnace issues homeowners encounter to determine the solution you need for yours.
Lack of Maintenance
This is often the number one reason a heater won’t turn on. When you skip or forget your furnace’s upkeep, it will likely end up with performance issues.
- The air filter can still accumulate dust, pet dander, and other debris when the heater is off. Make sure to check if the filter needs changing before turning the heater on.
- When dust builds up in the burner, the flames won’t burn evenly. This creates insufficient heat that causes your furnace to work harder to achieve the ideal level of heat, consuming more energy in the process. Make sure to clean your burner before using the furnace to prevent this from happening.
- A dirty blower can have performance issues that may lead to equipment failure. This is because the heat exchanger needs constant airflow to keep it from overheating. Clean the blower regularly to ensure top performance for your heater.
Improper Gas Supply
Your furnace needs a set amount of gas to operate properly. Failing to calibrate this will cause the system to malfunction.
- When there’s too much gas, your furnace burns more, and your utility costs may increase. It will also cause the furnace to overheat, triggering the automatic switch to turn off.
- When there’s too little gas, your furnace burns less, and you end up with a cold house during the winter. This can also cause your furnace to work harder to stabilize the heat, resulting in higher energy bills.
Malfunctioning Blower Capacitor
The blower capacitor is a component that looks like a large battery. It provides electricity to the fan motors, making sure there’s enough cool air to prevent the system from overheating. When it is malfunctioning, your heater won’t turn on. You will need a technician to determine if it needs a repair or replacement.
Low Refrigerant Levels
If you’re using a heat pump for your home, you have to regularly check its refrigerant. When refrigerant levels are too low, your heat strips will turn on more often than they should. At worst, the compressor might overheat and become damaged.
Malfunctioning Starting Components
Starting components can malfunction for different reasons. When this problem is unaddressed, you risk experiencing the following:
- the blower won’t start properly
- the unit won’t heat your home
- the internal components will get damaged
Broken Draft Inducer
This motor helps clear out leftover gas before the furnace turns on. However, it can burn out and stop working. When it happens, the safety switch turns on and switches off your heater.
Broken Heat Exchanger
Although this problem won’t lead to a broken furnace, it will affect the machine’s efficiency and effectiveness.
When your heat exchanger has a crack, you risk filling your home with carbon monoxide and harming you and your family.
This is a common furnace problem for old houses. Ductwork design and installation take skill and expertise, but some homeowners choose to hire amateurs or do it themselves. This leaves the people who buy the property with compromised ductwork that may cause problems. If your furnace came from the previous owners, consider hiring a technician to inspect it. They will be able to identify any problems that can lead to performance issues. Are you feeling the chill this winter? You might need your furnace checked. Give us a call and we’ll send over a technician to inspect your heating system.