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Thursday, February 06, 2014

The infamous "polar vortex" that gripped the Midwest this season gave many homeowners newfound appreciation for the warmth provided by their furnaces, not to mention a sense of fear when they failed to fire up. And all the while, it gave the chance to pass along some valuable furnace troubleshooting tips to help see everyone through one of the harshest winters on record.

What to do When There's Not Enough Heat 

As with any mechanical device, it helps to know what may be causing a problem with your furnace so that you can troubleshoot solutions. So if your furnace is producing little to no heat, check for the following:

  • Clogged furnace filter - Check the air filter and replace if it's dirty.
  • Malfunctioning or improperly set thermostat - Ensure that the thermostat is set for "heat" or adjust the temperature a few degrees higher to encourage the furnace to turn on.
  • Nonexistent pilot light - Troubleshooting this issue is usually as simple as relighting the pilot light.
  • Tripped or blown circuit breaker or fuse - Reset or replace the circuit breaker or fuse and restart the furnace.
  • Electronic ignition problem - Call your trusted heating expert to inspect and repair the electronic ignition system, a task that's best left to an experienced professional.

Further Furnace Troubleshooting

  • Double-check that the socket switch utility located on the furnace and inside a box is turned on.
  • Check that the heat registers in your home aren't obstructed by furniture or other objects.

If your furnace has started making strange and unusual noises, especially high-pitched screeches or low-pitched rumbles, the burners may be crying out for a cleaning and adjustment. Or if you notice rust flakes on the floor around your furnace, it's another cry for professional help.

For in-person furnace troubleshooting by an HVAC expert, find one near you at We can help you find the perfect HVAC contractor for your home comfort needs.

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