Check air filter

DIY Furnace Troubleshooting

Maintaining whole home comfort during the winter months is one of the top concerns for a lot of people. Sure, you’d like that to extend year-round, but when winter gets its coldest, it feels a tad more necessary. The scenario usually unfolds like this: your local McMurray weatherperson is calling for the coldest day of the year and your furnace decides to stop working. Now there’s no need to panic and call a furnace technician quite yet. There are a few things you can check on your own before making the call.

  1. Ensure your thermostat is set to “heat” – sure, it sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget to set your thermostat to the correct position. Whether it’s an accidental change while cleaning or you had an unexpected jump in temperatures for a few days and didn’t need your thermostat, double check your thermostat’s setting.
  2. Check your filter – one of the most common causes of furnaces turning off unexpectedly is a dirty filter. When furnace filters get overly dirty, air cannot pass through them as smoothly. The furnace might detect this and will shut off the system. If you have an older furnace, it may not recognize the problem and cause an even bigger problem. Newer furnaces have been crafted to pick up on this issue and have an easier time shutting the system down before it causes any further issues. Getting in the habit of changing your furnace filter every month can make sure you don’t wake up to a frigid house.
  3. Weak or dead batteries – if your thermostat operates with batteries, check it to ensure there isn’t a flashing low battery signal or another indicator that it’s time to change your batteries. Other thermostats run off of your home’s electrical system and don’t have to worry about this.
  4. Check your switches – find your home’s circuit breaker panel and pinpoint the breaker that controls your furnace. You should be able to tell if it is in the middle position or the Off position. If it is, cycle the breaker to Off and then re-set it back to the On position. If at any point you feel uncomfortable with the circuit breaker panel, please consult your local McMurray dealer or an electrician.

The other switch to check looks just like a light switch, which could be the root of the problem. It’s your furnace switch and should be in the Up, or On, position. Because of its resemblance to a light switch, it can be easily mistaken for one. Once On, give the furnace a few minutes to start up as many systems are programmed with built-in delays.

Following these few steps before contacting your local McMurray technician can help you eliminate the easy things, and if there is still an issue, it allows you to offer pertinent information to the technician if they end up coming out. Troubleshooting your furnace doesn’t have to be difficult, but ensuring you stay within your comfort zone is important too. There’s no need to take any gambles and potentially do more damage to your furnace, so once you start feeling a little out of your element, give your local furnace technician at Kowalski Heating & Cooling in McMurray a call.