Furnace Not Working? One Of These Easy Fixes May Warm You Back Up
Your furnace is a complex appliance you probably don't understand unless you've had training in electronics or mechanics. That makes it easy to assume some complex problem is to blame when your furnace stops working. However, there are a few very simple problems you can fix yourself if you know what to look for. When your furnace isn't keeping your house warm, here are a few things you should check:
You should suspect the thermostat first, especially if there are other people living in your household. Maybe someone adjusted the settings because it was too hot or too cold in the house. It's possible the thermostat was bumped when you were dusting, and the settings were changed without you knowing it.
Your thermostat should be set to the "heat" setting, and the temperature should be high enough to trigger the furnace to turn on. If you need to make adjustments to the thermostat, be sure to allow a few minutes for the furnace to kick on and blow out all the cold air before it starts warming your home again.
Your furnace probably has a power switch near it that looks just like a light switch. The switch needs to be on in order for your furnace to operate. Since it looks like a regular light switch, a guest to your home may have flipped it by mistake. If the switch is on, but your furnace doesn't start, then check the circuit box.
Your furnace probably has it's own circuit breaker, so power can be out to the furnace even though the rest of your home has power. It's unlikely a circuit breaker would be shut off accidentally, so if that's the case, you may want to call a contractor to inspect your HVAC system, especially if the circuit trips off again after you turn it on.
If you have a newer furnace, it may shut down automatically when the filter gets clogged. This helps prevent damage to the furnace. If you have an older furnace, it may keep working, but it will have a lower output of warm air if the filter is clogged. Pull out the filter and examine it. Hold it to the light if necessary, so you can see if it is full of dust.
If so, replace the filter. Trying to clean out a disposable filter isn't a good idea because the filter won't perform as well as a clean, new one.
These three simple checks are easy to do, and they are also very easy to overlook. By making these checks, you may spare yourself from freezing until a contractor can get to your home for repairs. Another simple thing you can do to prevent the need for furnace repairs in the middle of winter, is to have a contractor service your HVAC system in the autumn. That way it will be fit to make it through several months of hard use.