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Troubleshooting Your Furnace

A malfunctioning heat pump or furnace is a stressful experience, especially when it happens on a frigid night. Sometimes, the problem may be something simple that you can solve on your own. Use these troubleshooting tips for your Cabot, AR, home’s heat pump or furnace. If you’re still having problems with your heating system after working your way through these tips, you can count on us for emergency repairs at any time of the day or night.

Check the Circuit Breaker

A power surge or an electrical malfunction with your heat pump or furnace may have tripped the circuit breaker. Heat pumps and furnaces are typically on their own circuit, which should be labeled. If the breaker tripped, reset it. If it trips again, leave it alone, and call for repairs. The heat pump or furnace may have a failing capacitor, wiring or control board that needs to be repaired or replaced.

Verify the Furnace or Heat Pump Has Power

If there’s no problem at the circuit breaker, make sure the furnace or heat pump has power. There should be a power switch on the front of the unit. Make sure the power is turned on.

Check the Pilot Light

If you have an older furnace, check its pilot light. It should have a steady, blue flame. If it flickers or is yellow, the air intake may be dirty causing it to be yellow. If the light’s out, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on relighting it, or contact us for assistance.

Review the Thermostat Settings

Make sure your thermostat is set to the heat function. If it’s set to “auto”, it may not perform a heating cycle. Next, make sure the thermostat setting is several degrees warmer than your home’s current temperature. If your thermostat won’t respond when you touch its screen, it may need a new battery. If adjusting the temperature up doesn’t trigger a heating cycle, there may be a wiring problem between the thermostat and furnace. This requires professional attention.

Inspect the Air Filter

Once you’ve reviewed the thermostat settings, check the air filter. If it’s dirty, remove and replace it. A dirty air filter impedes airflow. In a furnace, a clogged air filter could cause the heat exchanger to overheat, which will trigger the furnace to automatically shut down. Check your air filter every month, and replace it as soon as it’s visibly dirty. According to the Department of Energy, you shouldn’t wait more than three months between air filter replacements in your furnace or heat pump.

Make Sure Vents Are Open

If you hear the furnace or heat pump click on, but you don’t feel warm air, check your vents. The vents may be closed or blocked by a build-up of dust. Keep furniture, boxes and decorations away from the vent openings. Once a month, remove and clean the vent covers and openings.

Look for Debris Around the Outdoor Unit

If you have a heat pump, and it won’t turn on, check the outdoor unit. If you see ice buildup, this means the coil is frozen. The heat pump’s reversing valve may need to be repaired or replaced. Keep the outdoor unit free of debris build-up around it. Clear snow, ice, tree branches and vegetation away from the unit. It needs at least three feet of clearance around all sides and above it.

Call for Furnace or Heat Pump Repairs

If your furnace or heat pump still won’t turn on, it may have a mechanical problem that requires a professional repair. If you’ve been hearing unusual grinding, banging or humming sounds, the heating system’s blower motor, fan or belt may need to be replaced. If you hear a hissing sound, the heat pump could have a refrigerant leak. A clanging sound suggests that the heating system has a loose or damaged part.

For more tips on troubleshooting your furnace or heat pump, take a look at Freyaldenhoven Heating and Cooling’s heating repair services, or contact us today for additional information.

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