Given the complexity of a modern furnace, it’s completely understandable if you feel overwhelmed when your furnace has a problem. Unfortunately, feeling overwhelmed doesn’t do much to help restore comfort to your Las Vegas home. Luckily, the pros at Polar Air & Heating, Inc. have encountered pretty much every type of furnace malfunction through the years and want to offer their knowledge and experience to help you accurately and easily diagnose common problems with your heating system.
Check the Power Switch
Since heating systems draw a lot of power, they are always given a separate circuit in your breaker box. To provide even more control over your system, though, there is typically a power switch located close to the system that you can easily turn off and on. This switch makes it easier to cut power to your system so that you or someone from Polar Air & Heating, Inc. can easily perform maintenance.
Unfortunately, if this switch is bumped while you’re moving something near your heating system, it will cut power to the system without your knowledge. Therefore, before you try other troubleshooting trips, make sure that your heating system has power at the switch.
Check the Air Filter
Another common problem that may cause your heating system to stop working is a dirty air filter. If it’s especially dusty in your home or if it’s been too long since you last changed your air filter, the gaps between the fibers in the filter will fill up to the point that very little air can get through to your heating system.
If this problem continues over an extended period of time, it could cause your heat exchanger to overheat, leading to a major system failure and a visit from Polar Air & Heating, Inc.. To prevent this from happening, most furnaces have an overload switch that cuts power to the furnace if it exceeds a certain temperature. Therefore, if you’re having problems, try replacing your current filter with a new one and see if that fixes the condition.
Check the Room
In some cases, a problem that seems to be caused by your furnace may actually be caused by the furnace’s environment. If your home has too many air leaks, your furnace won’t be able to keep up and maintain a constant temperature in your home. To fix this problem, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and go to work to locate and fill as many air leaks as possible.
Air leaks can occur in your home’s foundation, around windows and doors, in your attic, and pretty much anywhere else where two pieces of material come together. By fixing these air leaks, you’ll be able to increase your home’s comfort while using your furnace far less.
Check the Pilot Light
If you have an older furnace, it’s quite possible that the cause of your heating issues is an extinguished pilot light. The pilot light is a small flame that constantly burns to light the fuel in the burner when your furnace turns on. If the burner for the pilot light becomes clogged or if there are variations in the fuel supply, the pilot light could go out.
If you are careful and follow the correct steps, you can re-light the pilot light using a typical household lighter. In some cases, lighting it once will be enough to restore your heating system’s normal operation. In other cases, though, the pilot light may go out again. If this occurs, you’ll want to call Polar Air & Heating, Inc. to take a look at your pilot light to see if it needs to be repaired or replaced.
Re-Attach the Furnace Access Panel
When manufacturers build the furnaces that we sell at Polar Air & Heating, Inc., safety is their number one priority. One way that manufacturers help to make furnaces safer is by installing a safety switch that engages when you remove your furnace’s main access panel. This is to ensure that your furnace can’t turn on while someone is working on its mechanical components or if a child gets curious and starts playing around the furnace.
Therefore, if you’ve recently done maintenance work on your furnace, the front access panel may not have been seated correctly, meaning that the safety switch is still engaged. To check this problem, it’s best to remove the access panel completely and check the safety switch to ensure it’s not damaged. Then, carefully re-install the access panel, making sure to utilize all of the clips on the panel. Once the panel has been re-installed, you can try your furnace to see if it works again.
Open All Vents
If you have vents closed in unused rooms in your home to try and save energy, that could be the culprit behind your furnace woes. One problem with this approach is that it results in uneven heating around your home. This results in cold spots that will then make adjacent areas colder thanks to thermodynamics. Ultimately, this will cause your furnace to run more frequently, which is likely the opposite of what you were aiming for by closing vents.
Another problem that can occur when you start closing vents is that excess air pressure can build up inside the air exchanger. Rather than delivering the conditioned air to every room in your home, your heating system will be left with an overabundance of air with no place to send it. This is especially true if your ducts are well-sealed, meaning that the entire volume of air stays in the ducts until it’s delivered where it’s needed.
With extra air pressure in the air handler, you could end up with a cracked heat exchanger, false temperature readings, and other problems. That’s why we at Polar Air & Heating, Inc. recommend that you keep all the vents in your home open at all times.
Make Sure Your Thermostat Is Properly Programmed
If you’ve recently changed your daily routine, you may be overlooking a simple cause behind your furnace problems. That’s because you may have forgotten to change the schedule on your programmable thermostat. Therefore, although your heating system is operating flawlessly, you may still end up with an uncomfortable home simply because the thermostat is set to a setting that’s better suited to times when your home is empty.
Checking the current schedule on your thermostat is easy, as is changing the schedule if you notice a problem. While you’re working with your thermostat, it’s a good idea to check the battery to ensure it can provide enough power to properly operate your thermostat around the clock. Of course, to solve all of these problems, you can upgrade to a smart thermostat that automatically adjusts itself as your living patterns change and is hard-wired to your heating system, so it never needs batteries.
Here for the Hard Problems
If you’re still stumped as to what’s causing your heating system issues, we encourage you to give us a call at Polar Air & Heating, Inc.. We can take care of heating maintenance, repair, and installation. We can also take care of your air conditioner to take on those hot Las Vegas summers.
For over 20 years, the pros at Polar Air & Heating, Inc. have been keeping this community comfortable with expert service, which is one reason why we’re able to maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. For more information about your home’s heating system, contact us at Polar Air & Heating, Inc. today.