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Friday, October 24, 2014

It's always easy to hit the panic button when the furnace doesn't seem to be responding as it should. But the key word here is "seem" because in many cases, simply running through a series of gas furnace troubleshooting steps will resolve the problem.

Whether the furnace isn't turning on or the rooms in your home don't seem to be warming up, you can often get the furnace working as it should and in a calm, confident manner.

Troubleshooting a Gas Furnace

Begin by grabbing the owner's manual and a flashlight. Familiarize yourself with the key components of the furnace, especially if it's been awhile since you've taken a look around. Address the simplest issues first, gradually increasing the intensity of your gas furnace troubleshooting efforts:

  • Check that the furnace is actually turned to the "on" or "heat" position on the thermostat. Someone in your family may have flipped it off.
  • Turn up the thermostat a few degrees and then wait several minutes for the furnace to turn on.
  • Make a room-by-room check of your home and inspect the heat registers to ensure they're not blocked by furniture, clothing or heavy window treatments.
  • Pull out the furnace filter and hold it up to a light. If you can see through it, slide it back in. If it's clogged with dust and dirt, it's time for a new filter. A thoroughly dirty filter can cause the furnace to shut down. Inspect the air filter every month during high season, though you might have to replace it only once every three months.
  • Check that the socket switch, located on the furnace, is turned on.
  • Check the circuit breaker that the gas furnace runs on and reset it if necessary.
  • Relight the pilot light if it's out.

Some furnace issues require the attention of a licensed professional. For example, if your home's furnace is making peculiar noises, the furnace burners might need to be adjusted or cleaned. Or the pilot light might be yellow instead of blue, which also calls for maintenance.

In these cases, or for other troubleshooting tips for your gas furnace, don't hesitate to call the furnace experts at

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