Your furnace is a key element to keeping comfortable in the winter, so it can be a real problem if it suddenly stops working. Luckily, you can identify most furnace problems yourself. Here are four of the most common furnace problems and how you can fix them:
1. Furnace isn't effectively heating the house.
If your house is still cold even when you have the furnace turned all the way up, it may be a sign that you're using the wrong furnace. Like air conditioners, furnaces are sold by BTUs which indicate the square footage that they can adequately heat. If your furnace is too small for your house, you could be wasting energy without getting enough heat.
2. Furnace is making strange sounds.
Your furnace shouldn't be making loud banging or rattling noises. If it is, that might be a sign that the air intake valve is clogged. Replace your air filter and see if that resolves the problem. If the noisy operation persists, there could be a bigger mechanical issue with your furnace. Call a local HVAC contractor to inspect your furnace.
3. Furnace won't start.
Your furnace not turning on is one of the most obvious signs of a malfunction. If your furnace won't start, first check the most obvious causes. Make sure the fuse hasn't blown and that the vents of your furnace aren't dirty or clogged. Also check your thermostat to make sure it's turned to the correct setting. The solution to this problem could be as simple as replacing the pilot light, or it might require a new furnace.
4. Your energy bill is higher than usual.
Your energy bill can fluctuate throughout the year. Typically it's highest in the winter months when you use more power to heat your home. However, your energy costs should stay consistent from year to year. If you've suddenly noticed a dramatic spike in the cost of your heating bill, that may indicate a problem with your furnace. Better yet, replace your furnace with a newer, more energy efficient model. Many older furnaces weren't made with conservation in mind, so by switching to a new unit, you can save a lot of money in the long run.
When in doubt, have a HVAC specialist come to diagnose the problem with your furnace. With their expertise, they can pinpoint the exact issue and take the guesswork out of solving the problem. If you require a new furnace, your HVAC contractor can handle the furnace installation process so you don't have to worry.