Furnace Problems Homeowners Can Solve

Homeowners rely on their furnace to provide a comfortable temperature inside the home. During the cold weather, the furnace might start to malfunction. The springtime is an ideal time of year to assess furnace troubles and make repairs because the warmer weather may not require constant furnace operation. Many of these repairs are easily tackled by the average homeowner.

Sometimes furnace issues don't require the services of a heating and cooling specialist. However, at any point during repairs a homeowner feels unsure of his or her work, a licensed, trained individual should be consulted.

There are a few common furnace issues that homeowners often find easy to address without the need for professional help.

Frequent On and Off of Unit

A furnace that is constantly turning on and off can be a nuisance and wastes energy. There may be a few reasons for this problem. It could mean the home is just drafty and the unit cannot adequately keep it warm. Extra insulation and/or resealing around windows and doors may be able to alleviate this problem.

Clogged furnace filters can also restrict proper airflow through the system and cause the unit to routinely turn on and off. Some units have a safety precaution where the furnace turns off if it is overheating or airflow is compromised. This could be the reason behind the improper functioning. Replacing air filters may fix the trouble. Blower motor ports need to be lubricated at all times as well. If they are dried out, it could cause the unit to turn on and off.

Another factor could be the thermostat. A faulty thermostat that is not accurately reading the indoor temperature can trigger the furnace to turn on frequently. Replacing the thermostat with a new one might do the trick.

Blower Constantly On

An improper fan setting on the unit may cause the blower to stay on. If the blower is set to "continuous," it may need to be adjusted so that the fan turns on and off. Otherwise, the fan switch may be faulty and need to be replaced by a professional.

Funny Noises

Furnaces all have their unique noises, but if something seems out of the ordinary, it could mean a malfunction. A high-pitched whine could indicate a failed belt or one that is worn out and requires replacement. Loud rumbles may mean the pilot light is not properly set or there is a dirty gas burner.

Homeowners can try changing filters, adjusting belt tension, replacing thermostats and improving the insulation on their homes to alleviate many common furnace concerns. If these don't remedy the problem, it's best to consult with a qualified HVAC technician or the local gas company for further advice.