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8 Expert Furnace Troubleshooting Tips You Need to Know

Furnace Troubleshooting Tips

Is your furnace not heating your home? Do you smell or hear something strange? If the answer is yes, you may need to check your furnace. There are some easy things you can do to find out if your furnace is in working order and if it may need repairs. 

If you’re ready to schedule furnace repair service, call Cardinal Plumbing, Heating and Air at 703-721-8888 or contact us online.

If you want to investigate whether there is something wrong with your furnace, keep reading. 


1. Check the Thermostat

Checking the thermostat is one of the most overlooked solutions when it comes to ensuring the function of your furnace. To check your thermostat, make sure that it is on and working. Turn it on to the “heat” setting, and set the temperature above the temperature of the room to tell if it responds. The fan should be set to “auto.”. This helps to circulate the air when the unit kicks on. The batteries or the electrical unit also need to be checked, depending on how the thermostat is hooked up. Lastly, dust and debris could clog things up, so do a visual inspection and clean it if needed. 

2. Look at the Circuit Breaker

The circuit breaker can be another easy answer to a faulty furnace. To troubleshoot whether the problem is with the circuit breaker, head over to the circuit box in your house and see if it is switched on. There is a possibility that the switch might be stuck. This can be easily resolved by turning it off, waiting a few seconds and then flipping it back over. If this does not resolve the problem, there might be something wrong within the circuit or the wiring. This can be resolved by contacting a heating and cooling specialist. 

3. Change Your Air Filter

If the furnace is not producing enough heat, the air filter may be the guilty party. The air filter in your furnace catches pollutants and airborne particles, so they do not circulate in your house. Over time, these collected particles can clog up the filter and diminish its efficiency. To ensure the correct functioning of your air filter, find where it is located and change the filter if needed. One way to tell if your filter needs to be changed is if it is letting off a dirty or dusty smell. You should replace the filter every one to three months to prevent blockages. 

4. Inspect the Fuel Connection

If you have a furnace that operates on gas, check to see if the gas line is “open.”  Inspect the gas line from the main inlet to the unit. Companies add the smell of sulfur, or rotten eggs, to gas so that homeowners know when there is a gas leak. If you smell this or suspect a gas leak, contact the gas company and immediately evacuate your home. Give your HVAC specialist a call for an emergency furnace repair. 

5. Clean Your Unit

The area around your unit can become a safety hazard if it is not properly cleaned and maintained. To prevent a fire, remove any flammable materials and substances from near-the unit. Take care to consistently vacuum and remove any debris around the unit, as this may cause a blockage. Giving the furnace at least two feet of space and frequently cleaning the area are great ways to keep it running. This will decrease the likelihood of a replacement and lessen the risk of safety hazards. 

6. Check Burner Flames

For gas units, the burner flames need to be checked to make sure the heating performance of your furnace is in order. The burner flames are used to heat the air in cooperation with a heat exchanger. The most common problem with the burners is contamination with debris. To check for pollutants, look at the flames and determine if they are blue and even. If the flames are yellow, then the unit itself may need to be cleaned with a vacuum in and around the burners (obviously once it is off and cooled). If you are not comfortable cleaning the burners, call an HVAC professional to schedule a maintenance appointment. 

7. Clean Ductwork and Vents

The ductwork and vents in your home can be a problem if there is an unseen blockage. In bigger houses, it’s important to leave vents open, even in rooms that are not in use. Keeping vents closed can hinder the natural process of a furnace. If there is a blockage, the furnace works harder to heat the house. This can escalate the wear and tear of the furnace which can snowball into expensive HVAC repairs and even replacement. One way to find out if there is a blockage is to listen to the noises made in the ducts. If you hear rumbling, squeaking, or rattles, call a technician. 

8. Schedule Professional Maintenance

You don’t always have to troubleshoot on your own – a professional can help you. Scheduling professional HVAC maintenance for your furnace unit can prevent issues and increase the lifespan of your unit. With increased performance, your electricity bills may lower and decrease the chance of an unexpected repair. A technician can tell you if there is something wrong with your furnace that requires a repair. Contact your local HVAC company to schedule a maintenance appointment.

HVAC Companies Ashburn, VA

A furnace unit can experience many problems. Luckily, most are preventable and solved with some DIY problem-solving. Some of these fixes are easy for homeowners to pull off, but the more complicated the problem is, the greater the need for a HVAC specialist. 

For HVAC Ashburn, VA, Cardinal Plumbing, Heating and Air is here to help with any repairs and maintenance requests. Our professional staff here at Cardinal is dedicated to making sure your home is safe and systems are working properly throughout the year. From heat exchanger repair to ductwork inspection, our team is ready to provide quick and excellent service. 

To schedule an appointment with the team at Cardinal Plumbing, Heating and Air, give us a call at 703-721-8888 or head to our website


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