When your furnace fails, alarm bells probably go off in your mind. You picture having to pay thousands of dollars to replace or repair your furnace. You dread having to call three different HVAC companies to get quotes for those services. Well, here's some goods news — you don't have to panic. Many furnace problems are not as big as they seem and are instead pretty simple to fix. Here's a look at a few that fit that characterization.
Problem #1: Issues with power or batteries
The problem could just be that your furnace or thermostat is not drawing power. Some thermostats are battery-powered, and if the battery dies, the thermostat will stop telling the furnace to turn on. Check your thermostat to see if this is the problem. If your thermostat is hardwired, then check to see whether it is drawing power. If there are no numbers on the screen, it's not. Check the circuit breaker, and if it is off, turn it back on.
Your furnace itself could also not be drawing power. Check the breaker it is connected to, and turn it on if it has been off. If the furnace trips the breaker again, contact your HVAC contractor. It probably has a problem with the wiring, which is typically quite easy to fix.
Problem #2: The filter is clogged
Filters are intended to trap dust and dirt, keeping your furnace clean and working its best. But here's the thing: if your furnace filter gets too clogged, it will restrict airflow to the furnace, which may cause the furnace to malfunction and stop pushing out heat.
If it has been more than three months since you changed your filter, go change it and see if that solves your problem. Then remember not to wait so long to change your filter in the future.
Problem #3: Your furnace's access panel is off
Most modern furnaces turn off if the access door is removed. There's a safety switch that turns the furnace off if the door is not putting pressure on it. You may not have removed the door yourself, but one of your children may have jostled it loose, or it may have gotten knocked when someone was moving something.
If your furnace's door is off, put it back into place, and then see if the heat turns back on.
The problems above are to blame for more furnace problems than you may realize. Try these options first, and if they don't work, call your furnace repair service.