You depend on your furnace to keep your family both comfortable and safe over the winters around Shawnee. But your furnace doesn’t always stay running strong over the coldest times, and you need to find out why. Here are some of the most common problems you may experience with your furnace and what to do about them.
One of the most common problems you will face, and possibly repeatedly, is reduced air coming from your vents. Several underlying problems cause these airflow restrictions. Some are easy to find and fix, and others are much more complex.
A clogged air filter is the most common reason for reduced airflow. All air flows through your filter so that it can remove airborne contaminants before they enter the furnace. This means that your filter will naturally clog over time, so if you have reduced airflow, check this first.
Other common causes of reduced airflow are a clogged heat exchanger, a dirty circulating fan wheel, or a bad circulating fan motor. A technician will check all of these during routine furnace maintenance to ensure your system is ready for the winter.
Cool Air From Your Vents
Beyond less air coming from your vents, you may also notice the air feels cooler than normal. Many problems may lead to the cooler air, but let’s start with the simplest causes first.
Start by checking the fan switch on your thermostat to ensure it’s set to “Auto”. If it’s set to the “On” setting, the fan will run constantly, even if the furnace isn’t running. This means you’ll have cooler air coming from your vents during the periods heat isn’t being produced.
Beyond the switch, you may have issues with your igniter, burner, pilot light, or even a clogged air filter. Check your air filter to ensure it isn’t dirty, and then call a technician to trace down the exact cause of your problem.
Your furnace shouldn’t make much noise as it runs, beyond the sound of the circulating fan running. You may also hear some clicking from your thermostat as it cycles.
However, there are several other sounds you may hear that should spark concern and warrant further investigation. If you hear a squealing sound, you may have a loose belt to your circulating fan. Your fan motor may also emit a squealing sound if the bearings are going bad.
Keep an ear open for rumbling sounds from your furnace as it runs. This could indicate fuel left in the burn chamber after it shuts off. It may also indicate an airflow problem within the ductwork, creating a vacuum in the system.
The final thing to listen for is any kind of rattling sound within your unit. This most likely indicates something is either loose or broken. Either way, this could cause significant damage to your system if left unresolved.
If you hear any of these sounds, turn your system off and call for a technician to troubleshoot the problem. Ignoring any of these sounds and hoping they’ll just go away increases the risk of more substantial damage.
An optimally operating furnace has an average cycle of about 10 to 15 minutes. It will cycle two or three times an hour to maintain your ideal temperature. If your system runs shorter cycles more frequently, you know there’s a problem.
One of the easiest things that causes a furnace to short cycle is a clogged furnace filter or other airflow restriction. So if you notice this issue, check your furnace filter and make sure it’s not clogged.
Beyond that, the next most common issue is a defective safety control switch. These are intended to help prevent the furnace from overheating. If they’re defective, they’ll shut the furnace down prematurely. It’s best to leave these kinds of repairs to the trained professionals who can evaluate the underlying problem.
Longer than normal cycles also indicate an issue. Usually, this points to either a circulation problem or the furnace not effectively transferring heat to the air in the system. Double-check your air filters, then call a professional to come and troubleshoot the issue.
For over 40 years, people around Shawnee have turned to Air Care Heating & Cooling to keep them warm over the winter. Our NATE-certified technicians offer heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repair, along with indoor air quality services. Call to schedule your furnace repair with one of our expert technicians today.