It’s the first chilly day of the season and you fire up your furnace to warm up your home.
And you realize it’s not working.
A faulty residential furnace can be frustrating, since it leaves your home uncomfortable to be in. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to test these types of furnaces before calling a professional for an inspection.
Step 1: Check the power connection.
Sometimes when your furnace sits idle for months at a time, it is common for the power switch to flip off. Find the switch and see if this is the case. You may find that the electric connection is the problem. Some homes have gas residential furnaces, so check the fuel supplies and connection.
Step 2: Look at your thermostat.
The thermostat may also be the problem. Check that it is set to the heating setting and that it is set at the right temperature. You may have set the temperature too low for the furnace to actually start.
Step 3: Inspect the furnace filter.
If your furnace does turn on but is not producing enough heat or is blowing weakly, the filter may be clogged. Either change it yourself or call a professional to change it for you. Placing the clean one back in should allow the furnace to function at full capacity.
Step 4: Reset the unit.
Some residential boilers, air conditioning units, and furnaces have reset buttons. Check whether your furnace has one, and hold down the button to let the system restart. Sometimes the system just needs an extra nudge after not running for several months.
Step 5: Inspect for physical damage.
While it might be obvious, furnaces often don’t work because of actual physical damage. Inspect the various parts and look for cracks, missing parts, and other issues. This is especially important following a flood or other natural event.
Step 6: Call a furnace professional.
No matter the results of the above steps, it’s always essential to call an HVAC professional. They can pinpoint the root cause of your heating issues and recommend replacement or repair.
The HVAC professional may also offer a different heating solution for your home. For example, outdoor wood furnaces are a popular option, with about 200,000 in use. You can work with the technician to craft the perfect HVAC package for you.